State Sen. Borris Miles of Houston wrote in a tweet Thursday that it was "a special day" as they honored Lee.
Lee garnered attention nationwide after performing 2.5-mile walks in cities across the country to gain support for the federal Juneteenth holiday.
Her efforts paid off this year when the United States Congress passed the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act designating Juneteenth as a federal holiday. President Joe Biden signed the bill into law on Thursday, June 17.
Juneteenth honors the day in 1865 when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people in Galveston, Texas - some 2 1/2 years after President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation had freed slaves in Southern states.
The distance of Lee's walks represent the amount of time slaves didn't know they were free.
Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick said he is going to recommend that a portrait of Lee be put in up in the Senate chamber.
Today was a special day in the Senate as we honored Ms. Opal Lee, the grandmother of the federal Juneteenth holiday. She did 2.5 mile walks around the country to gain support for the federal Juneteenth holiday which was celebrated for the first time this year. #txlege pic.twitter.com/P3YERy0pUT— Texas State Senator Borris L. Miles (@BorrisLMiles) July 22, 2021
Watch more about Opal Lee's story!
Houston leaders find hope and healing in Juneteenth celebration
'Absolute Equality' mural keeps history of Juneteenth alive in Galveston