‘We don’t need you out here,’ one person can be heard saying in video from scene
Mr Johnson was heckled by event attendees as he spoke to reporters about why he initially tried to block the Senate bill.
“We don’t need you out here,” one person can be heard saying in a video from the scene.
While the Republican senator said he thinks Juneteenth is “a day to celebrate”, he didn’t think it was right to add another paid day off for federal employees at the expense of taxpayers.
“Most people are getting really tired of the division,” Mr Johnson told CBS 58. “I think people are looking to really heal this nation and certainly that’s what I want to do. We can’t continue down this path. So again, I think this is a day to celebrate.”
The bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday passed unanimously in the Senate on Tuesday, after Mr Johnson ended his opposition.
It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King day was created in 1983 and is the oldest commemoration of the abolition of slavery and the emancipation of African Americans.
The day has been celebrated annually in various parts of the US since 19 June 1866, when freed slaves celebrated the anniversary of the day in 1865 that Union soldiers rode into Galveston, Texas with the news that the Emancipation Proclamation had been signed two years earlier.