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Cuomo to establish Juneteenth as a holiday for state employees, could be official holiday next year

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Posted at 12:12 PM, Jun 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-17 12:12:26-04

ALBANY, N.Y. (WKBW) — In his daily briefing on Wednesday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced he would sign an executive order establishing Juneteenth as a holiday for state employees.

Cuomo added he intends to advance legislation that would make Juneteenth an official state holiday in 2021.

Juneteenth is celebrated on June 19. It commemorates the anniversary of the emancipation of the last enslaved people in the Confederacy in 1865, two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln. On June 19, 1865, Union Army Major General Gordon Granger initiated the final execution of the Emancipation Proclamation in Galveston, Texas. The announcement triggered a celebration that evening, as formerly enslaved people celebrated their freedom.

The Juneteenth Festival of Buffalo was founded in 1976 as an alternative to the nation's Bicentennial Celebration. It is one of the largest Juneteenth celebrations in the nation. Go to its website for more information on the holiday.