90.7 WMFE and 89.5 WMFV are Central Florida's primary provider of NPR programming and Classical Music. Part of the community since 1965, providing quality national and local news and programming. We inspire and empower all Central Floridians to discover, grow and engage within and beyond their world.
Support for 90.7 WMFE is provided by

Florida Senate adds Juneteenth and Emancipation Day to bill creating holiday for victims of Communism

Play Audio

Sen. Randolph Bracy, D-Ocoee. Image: The Florida Channel

The Florida Senate has added two legal holidays marking the end of slavery to a House bill recognizing the victims of Communism.

Now the House must decide whether to officially acknowledge Juneteenth and Emancipation Day.

Juneteenth — on June 19 — celebrates the end of slavery in America, when, in 1865, federal troops brought the Emancipation Proclamation to Galveston, Texas.

Emancipation Day — May 20 — marks the day, also in 1865, that enslaved blacks in Tallahassee learned of their freedom.

Victims of Communism Day — Nov. 7 — remembers the human toll of regimes in the Soviet Union, China, Cuba, Vietnam and Venezuela.

Ocoee’s Democratic senator, Randolph Bracy, added his amendment to the Victims of Communism Day bill approved by the House.

“[B]oth histories are very important,” he said in the Senate on Wednesday. “And I encourage the House to accept this language for these legal holidays.”

The new bill — which passed the Senate 39-0 — requires 45 minutes of high school instruction on the victims of Communism and emancipation in Florida.


Get The 90.7 WMFE Newsletter

Your trusted news source for the latest Central Florida news, updates on special programs and more.

Stay tuned in to our local news coverage: Listen to 90.7 WMFE on your FM or HD radio, the WMFE mobile app or your smart speaker — say “Alexa, play NPR” and you’ll be connected.

WMFE Journalistic Ethics Code | Public Media Code of Integrity

Joe Byrnes

About Joe Byrnes


Joe Byrnes came to WMFE/WMFV from the Ocala Star-Banner and The Gainesville Sun, where he worked as a reporter and editor for several years. Joe graduated from Loyola University in New Orleans and turned to journalism after teaching. He enjoys freshwater fishing and family gatherings.