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Helm’s Bill Establishing ‘Juneteenth National Freedom Day’ in Pennsylvania Heads to Senate
HARRISBURG – Legislation sponsored by Rep. Sue Helm (R-Dauphin/Lebanon) establishing Juneteenth National Freedom Day as an annual observance in Pennsylvania today was unanimously approved by the House of Representatives. House Bill 664 will next be considered by the Senate.

“Juneteenth National Freedom Day is the oldest African-American holiday observance in the United States,” said Helm. “It is a celebration that marks the ending of slavery in this country that has evolved into a day to highlight education and achievement in the African-American community. Enacting this legislation would send a message to all Pennsylvanians that the United States is truly the ‘Land of the Free’.”

Helm’s bill would provide for the annual designation of the third Saturday in June as Juneteenth National Freedom Day in Pennsylvania. By doing so, governmental entities, civic organizations and schools would be encouraged to observe the day, with an emphasis on the meaning and importance of the Emancipation Proclamation, which brought an end to slavery in 1863.

Last month, the House unanimously adopted a resolution to recognize Juneteenth National Freedom Day in 2015.

Similar legislation, sponsored by Helm, passed in the House during the 2013-14 session, but stalled in the Senate. At least 37 other states observe Juneteenth National Freedom Day.

For more information on Helm and her legislative priorities, visit or

Representative Sue Helm
104th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives

Media Contact: Andy Briggs
717.260.6474 /
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