WASHINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Texas Sen. John Cornyn announced Thursday that he will be introducing a bill to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.

Juneteenth celebrates the day — June 19, 1865 — slaves in Texas learned they were free, which was two and a half years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

According to Cornyn, Juneteenth is celebrated in 47 states, including Texas, and the District of Columbia. The bipartisan bill looks to make it a federal holiday.

“It’s an opportunity to reflect on our history, the mistakes we have made, but yet how far we’ve come in the fight for equality, and a reminder of just how far we still have to go,” Cornyn said. “That is especially true this year. Over the last several weeks, Americans of all races and backgrounds, of all ages, have raised their voice in the fight against inequality and injustice that continues to exist in our society.”

Earlier this week, a resolution by Cornyn that honors June 19, 2020 as “Juneteenth Independence Day” was passed by the Senate.