Juneteenth becomes official public holiday in New York State


ALBANY, N.Y. (WYSR) – Governor Andrew Cuomo signed legislation Wednesday that made Juneteenth an official public holiday. 

Juneteenth, which is celebrated on June 19, commemorates the end of slavery and celebrates Black and African American freedom and their achievements. 

Earlier in 2020, Governor Cuomo signed an executive order that recognized Juneteenth as a holiday for New York State employees. 

I am incredibly proud to sign into law this legislation declaring Juneteenth an official holiday in New York State, a day which commemorates the end to slavery in the United States. This new public holiday will serve as a day to recognize the achievements of the Black community, while also providing an important opportunity for self-reflection on the systemic injustices that our society still faces today.


Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, when the news of liberation came to Texas more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation went into effect on January 1, 1863. African Americans across the state were made aware of their right to freedom on this day when Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston with federal troops to read General Order No. 3 announcing the end of the Civil War and that all enslaved were now free, as well as to maintain a presence in Texas for the purpose of enforcement of emancipation among slave-owners throughout the state.

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