SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – As Black History Month winds down, new support surfaces to turn June 19, also known as Juneteenth, into a national holiday.

Juneteenth is a celebration of the end of slavery in 1865 when President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

Leaders at the Boys and Girls Club Family Center in Springfield are elated that Senator Ed Markey is among the lawmakers urging Congress to make Juneteenth a national holiday.

Keshawn Dodds said, “When it comes to Juneteenth, what’s happening in the city, we have a flag raising at city hall, the impact of the emancipations proclamation how it happened in 1965.”

Dodds and his staff told 22News, turning Juneteenth into a national observance has been a long time coming.

They contend it should have been a national holiday from the beginning.