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Cuomo declares Juneteenth a holiday for state employees

Jun 17, 2020 3:15 pm
Cayla Harris is reporting for the Times Union Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed an executive order June 17, declaring Juneteenth a holiday for state employees. The holiday, commemorating the end of slavery in the United States, falls annually on June 19. On that day in 1865, a Union general arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform enslaved African Americans they had been freed, two years after President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. Cuomo said he will propose legislation to make the day an official state holiday beginning in 2021. A bill to do so was introduced last week by Assemblywoman Alicia Hyndman of Queens. "I don't think it has been recognized for the importance it denotes," Cuomo said of Juneteenth. Several protests and celebrations are planned to commemorate Juneteenth nationwide, with marches scheduled in New York City, Washington, D.C., Atlanta and Tulsa, Okla. There have been growing calls nationwide to declare Juneteenth a federal holiday. Read the full story in the Times Union.