Juneteenth marks when belated news of emancipation reached Texas
June 19, also known as Juneteenth, commemorates when enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, in 1865 learned of the Emancipation Proclamation two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the proclamation to free enslaved people in 1863. Enslavers were held responsible for telling enslaved people they were free, and some ignored the directive. Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger informed the people of Galveston, demanding Galveston locals comply with the proclamation. Texas was the last Confederate state where the proclamation was announced. After Congress swiftly passed the bill, President Joe Biden signed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act in June 2021. This followed the lead of 47 states which already recognized the day. Federal employees get Monday off since the holiday falls on a Sunday this year.
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CDC advisers expected to make recommendation for COVID-19 shots for young kids
U.S. regulators on Friday authorized the first COVID-19 shots for infants and preschoolers, paving the way for vaccinations to begin next week. The Food and Drug Administration’s action follows its advisory panel’s unanimous recommendation for the shots from Moderna and Pfizer. That means U.S. kids under 5 — roughly 18 million youngsters — are eligible for the shots. There’s one step left: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends how to use vaccines. Its independent advisers began debating the two-dose Moderna and the three-dose Pfizer vaccines on Friday and will make its recommendation Saturday. A final signoff is expected soon after from CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. At a Senate hearing Thursday, Walensky said her staff was working over the Juneteenth federal holiday weekend “because we understand the urgency of this for American parents.” She said pediatric deaths from COVID-19 have been higher than what is generally seen from the flu each year.
Texas city residents could drink tap water again Saturday
Residents of Odessa, Texas, who have been without safe tap water this week amid scorching temperatures may be able to drink safely straight from the faucet as early as Saturday afternoon, city officials said Friday. Samples from the Odessa area water utility pipes were sent off for testing Friday afternoon, said Odessa Public Works Director Thomas Kerr. If the test results come back clean, the city’s weeklong boil-water notice could be lifted by early Saturday afternoon, he said. Temperatures approached 100 degrees in Odessa daily this week as Texas and much of the U.S. faced extremely hot and humid conditions. The city said taps in 165,000 homes and businesses lost pressure or went completely dry after a 24-inch main broke Monday. In the meantime, customers have relied on bottled water to consume and cook with, and boiling to disinfect whatever water came from their faucets.
US Open to crown a champion Sunday evening
It’s crowded at the top of the leaderboard heading into Saturday’s third round of the U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts, and by Sunday evening we could have a new champion. Americans Joel Dahmen and Collin Morikawa are tied for the 36-hole lead at 5 under. But there are 13 golfers within three shots of the co-leaders. Defending champion Jon Rahm of Spain and 2011 champ Rory McIlroy, a four-time major winner, are among the group at 4 under. Masters winner and world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler leads the group at 3 under. “It’s not every U.S. Open that the reigning Masters champion can claim, quite correctly, that he is flying under the radar when he’s near the lead at the halfway point of the men’s national championship …” USA TODAY Sports columnist Christine Brennan wrote Friday. But that’s fine with him. “I kind of like flying under the radar,” Scheffler, 26, said. “For me, it makes things a lot simpler.” NBC will be anchoring the coverage of the tournament all weekend.
A day for all the dads: Happy Father’s Day to all those celebrating!
Father’s Day is Sunday and if you haven’t purchased, done or said something for your dear old dad, step dad, grand dad or other father figure, there is still time. In a recent interview with USA TODAY, “Jurassic World Dominion” stars Chris Pratt and Jeff Goldblum talked about fatherhood with both noting they were looking forward to their young sons seeing the latest dinosaur epic. When the subject of Father’s Day arises, Goldblum brings up fond memories of his dad, from going to Steelers games growing up in Pittsburgh to his father “(bursting) into tears and (throwing) his arms around me,” after attending Goldblum’s first play in 1978. Their “Dominion” co-star Bryce Dallas Howard, who directed the 2020 documentary “Dads,” discussed how her interest in filmmaking first blossomed thanks to the time she spent on her father director Ron Howard’s sets as a child. If you’re looking to make more memories with your dad or are seeking a great gift to show him how much you care, here’s some content with many more ideas:
Contributing: The Associated Press