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New York legislature passes Juneteenth holiday

Jul 24, 2020 6:33 am
Marina Villeneuve reports for the Associated Press that the New York State Senate and Assembly this week voted to make June 19 a Juneteenth holiday in the state, commemorating the emancipation of slaves in the United States. “Every day our communities witness a continued fight for justice and equality,” said the bill's sponsor, Democrat Kevin Parker. "Designating Juneteenth a public holiday gives us a chance to recognize our liberties, honor our ancestor’s struggle for emancipation, and send a clear message that we value this significant moment in history.” President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation went into effect Jan. 1, 1863, and the holiday derives from June 19, 1865, when the Union army freed enslaved people in Galveston, Texas. Historians note that date as the end of slavery. Meanwhile in this century, protests continue throughout the Hudson Valley. On July 24 there are demonstrations planned in Saratoga, Ellenville, and New City. On July 26 there are protests in Phoenica, Ellenville, and Lenox, Massachusetts.