Cuomo Wants Juneteenth to be a Holiday For All New Yorkers
If Gov. Andrew Cuomo gets his wish, all workers in New York will have off on Juneteenth.
On Wednesday during his COVID-19 briefing, Cuomo announced he signed an Executive Order recognizing Juneteenth as a holiday for state employees, in recognition of the official emancipation of African Americans throughout the United States.
The governor also said he will advance legislation to make Juneteenth an official state holiday next year.
"Friday is Juneteenth - a day to commemorate the end of slavery in the United States - and it's a day that is especially relevant in this moment in history," Cuomo said. "Although slavery ended over 150 years ago, there has still been rampant, systemic discrimination and injustice in this state and this nation, and we have been working to enact real reforms to address these inequalities. I am going to issue an Executive Order recognizing Juneteenth as a holiday for state employees and I'll propose legislation next year to make it an official state holiday so New Yorkers can use this day to reflect on all the changes we still need to make to create a more fair, just and equal society."
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 announce the end of the Civil War which marked all enslaved were now free.