Juneteenth celebrated across US

Americans commemorate the national holiday for the first time, after President Joe Biden signed the bill into law on Thursday.
3:03 | 06/19/21

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Transcript for Juneteenth celebrated across US
Today marks the first juneteenth since it was officially made a federal holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. 94-year-old Opal Lee, the grandmother of juneteenth, as she's known, walking two and a half miles, representing the two and a half years it took for word of freedom to reach enslaved people in galveston, Texas. Today, parades and celebrations across the country, and renewed calls for equality for all. Here's Marcus Moore in galveston. Reporter: Tonight, a weekend of celebrations and reflection with communities across the U.S. Marking juneteenth as a national holiday for the first time. From New York City -- Unity! Reporter: To central Florida, where families took to the streets in a half-mile walk for peace. it is here in galveston, Texas, where the juneteenth celebration began. 156 years ago today, union troops freed the last enslaved African-Americans, who were unaware the emancipation proclamation had been declared until two and half years after it was issued, because there were not enough union soldiers to enforce the order. All of these years later, that past is driving hope for the future. What do you hope this will mean beyond the celebration today? Beyond the celebration, I'm hoping more people become unified. That we allow it to be everybody inclusive. That it just doesn't stop by signing of a bill. That at the end of the day, we still get out to register to vote, we still stay active, still do our part in the community. Reporter: In central Texas, crowds joining Opal Lee, affectionately known as the grandmother of the juneteenth movement, during her annual walk. We're going to continue to make this the best place in the whole wide world! Reporter: And in Brooklyn, New York, this sculpture of George Floyd unveiled. Juneteenth significance gaining national attention amid the protests and unrest following his killing. I hope it will prompt constituents, residents, and passersby to continue to organize, to mobilize, to March, and to educate with the goal of enacting change. We could do no greater honor to George Floyd and his memory. Reporter: Today, president Biden echoing that fight is far from over, tweeting, juneteenth marks both the long, hard night of slavery and subjugation, and the promise of that brighter morning to come. Today and every day, we must work to ensure our nation finally lives up to its promise of equality for all. And, whit, this is a huge day for people here in galveston, and there's a real sense of validation. Something else of significance is there was a time that some here in Texas, blacks, were not allowed to celebrate juneteenth. So some saved their money so they could buy land so they could legally mark this day, and whit, now for it to be observed nationwide is significant for so many people here. Sure is. That recognition a long time in

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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