Juneteenth to be recognized as official holiday in New York starting next year

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ALBANY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo Wednesday signed legislation making Juneteenth — the commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States — a recognized holiday in New York State.

“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,” Cuomo said in a statement.

“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.”

The holiday falls on June 19 and all state employees will get the day off starting next year.

It commemorates June 19, 1865, two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation went into effect on January 1, 1863, when news of the liberation was delivered in Texas.

Cuomo issued an executive order earlier this summer following news of the May 25 Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd and ensuing protests across the nation and the world against police brutality and systemic racism.

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