ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation officially making Juneteenth a New York state holiday.
Juneteeth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States.
The Democrat had used an executive order to make Juneteenth a paid holiday for state employees this year.
I just signed legislation declaring #Juneteenth an official holiday in NYS.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) October 14, 2020
This new public holiday will serve as a day to celebrate freedom, recognize the achievements of the Black community & reflect on injustices that remain.
I'm incredibly proud to sign this into law.
The state Legislature had passed a bill in July to make it a state holiday.
President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863. But not everyone heard about it right away. It wasn’t until June 19th, 1865, that enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, found out about it from Union army personnel, making them among the last to know about their freedom.