Updated June 17, 2021 at 1:47 PM
President Biden on Thursday signed a bill to recognize Juneteenth as a federal holiday.
Federal employees will observe the holiday for the first time on Friday.
"Throughout history, Juneteenth has been known by many names: Jubilee Day, Freedom Day, Liberation Day, Emancipation Day, and today, a national holiday," said Vice President Harris, who is the first woman, Asian American and the first Black person to serve as vice president.
"We are gathered here in a house built by enslaved people. We are footsteps away from where President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation," she said. "We have come far, and we have far to go. But today is a day of celebration. It is not only a day of pride. It's also a day for us to reaffirm and rededicate ourselves to action."