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U.S. marks Juneteenth, Dreamers celebrate Supreme Court decision and Trump's Tulsa rally

"I'm over the moon right now!" DACA recipients feel liberated by Supreme Court win.
Image: People hold signs and a woman raises her fist during a rally in support of the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, in San Diego, California
People celebrate the Supreme Court's ruling in favor of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, in San Diego, California on Thursday. Sandy Huffaker / AFP - Getty Images

Good morning, NBC News readers.

Today is Juneteenth, a day that commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S. This year it will be celebrated by Black Americans as the country wrestles with its past amid a national reckoning on race.

Here's what we're watching this Friday morning.


How Juneteenth's history is being reshaped as America faces up to its past

The story most often told about Juneteenth is that Union Gen. Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, in June of 1865 and announced to slaves that they were free. There was much merriment, followed by annual cookouts and commemorations for 150 years, the end.

Of course, the reality of what happened is much more complicated, NBC News' Janell Ross writes.

Some historians are pushing to get the more complex story of what happened next told. They figure now is the time to contend with the nation's messy past to better understand its present.

"Much like June 1865, this moment, the one we live in now, this is a big moment of reckoning," said Kenneth C. Davis, a historian and author of "Don't Know Much About History."

Others are wondering why they don't remember any lessons about the Tulsa Race Massacre or Juneteenth from their school days.

Educators say it's because the history of Black people and other minority communities has "been completely whitewashed and erased" when it is taught in American classrooms. They are pushing for that to change.

Here are some other developments:

  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar withdrew her name from the VP race, saying Joe Biden should pick a woman of color as his running mate.
  • Watch: Sen. Kamala Harris announced on MSNBC that she is introducing a bill to declare Juneteenth a national holiday.
  • Listen to our Into America podcast: In the latest episode, host Trymaine Lee digs into coalition building with Bishop Barber.
  • Watch a one-hour Dateline special this evening "The Long Walk to Freedom." NBC News' Craig Melvin reports on two brothers' decades-long fight to overturn their wrongful convictions in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The show airs at 10 p.m. ET.
Houses burn in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in June 1921 during the "Black Wall Street" massacre.Oklahoma Historical Society / Getty Images

In limbo no more: DACA recipients rejoice over Supreme Court's decision

The Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the Trump administration cannot carry out its plan to shut down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has allowed nearly 800,000 young people, known as Dreamers, to avoid deportation and remain in the U.S.

Chief Justice John Roberts was the swing vote in the 5-4 decision, which dealt a big legal defeat to President Donald Trump on the issue of immigration, a major focus of his domestic agenda.

Roberts wrote in the decision that the government failed to give an adequate justification for ending the federal program and called the Trump administration's act of rescinding it "arbitrary and capricious."

For DACA recipients, the Supreme Court's decision is a life-changer.

"I'm over the moon right now!" said Kassandra Aleman, a deputy training director for the Texas Democratic Party and a DACA recipient. The 26-year-old said that now she can apply to law school.

"Just knowing that I can move forward with my life for the time being gave me the hope I haven’t felt in a very long time."


Trump is about to land his 200th federal judge. The impact will last 'generations.'

Elections have consequences. And in the case of President Trump, the federal bench is one of them.

Trump is about to land his 200th judicial confirmation next week. That's a number not achieved by any president at this stage in four decades.

With most of his nominees in their 40s or 50s, the "impact will last generations," said David McIntosh, a co-founder and board member of the Federalist Society, a network of conservative lawyers and activists which has pushed to install young and ideologically rigid judges.

"It’s one of the most, if not the most significant achievements of the president," he said.


Trump supporters crowd Tulsa ahead of Saturday rally

Supporters of President Donald Trump amassed outside the arena in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Thursday, two days before he is scheduled to hold a campaign rally expected to draw tens of thousands of people.

"We want to show our support," Robin Stites, who's been camped out since Monday, told The Oklahoman newspaper.

Despite an uptick of coronavirus cases in the area and fears the event could be a COVID-19 "super-spreader," many attendees chose to forgo masks and social distancing while in line, where people waited on lawn chairs and with tents.


These two men thought peace was possible between Israel and Palestinians. No more.

Almost 27 years ago, two officials — a Palestinian and an Israeli — thought their respective sides had found a path to peace.

Now, as Israel debates plans to annex land the Palestinians envisage for a future state, their hopes for a shared future, with two states co-existing side by side, seem to be slipping further away.

“The period 1994 to 1999, this was paradise,” said one former peace negotiator. “There was a real possibility of peace then. Today, I don’t see it.”


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Plus


THINK about it

Trump's Juneteenth Tulsa rally might have been a mistake — or a racist dog whistle, Joshua Adams writes in an opinion piece.


Live BETTER

What is "self-nudging"? A simple trick to make healthier choices.


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The new work from home routine probably means you need a better chair. Here's how to find the most ergonomic seating solution, according to experts.


In memoriam

Jean Kennedy Smith, a former U.S. ambassador to Ireland and the last surviving sibling of President John F. Kennedy, died late Wednesday. She was 92.

As ambassador, Jean Kennedy Smith played a role in the Northern Ireland peace process. She helped persuade President Bill Clinton to grant a controversial visa to Gerry Adams.

"She lived an amazing life," her daughter Kym Smith told NBC News in a statement Thursday.


Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown.

I hope you have a safe and healthy weekend.

If you have any comments — likes, dislikes — drop me an email at: petra@nbcuni.com

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Thanks, Petra