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Dutchess, Orange counties did not declare Juneteenth a holiday

Jun 21, 2022 1:00 am

WPDH-FM [dot] com is reporting the two Mid-Hudson counties with the largest population of black residents did not recognize Juneteenth as a holiday. Juneteenth commemorates the date enslaved African Americans in Texas were finally notified that the Civil War was over and they were free. New York and other states recognized Juneteenth as a holiday in 2020 and June 19 officially became a federal holiday in 2021. All state and federal employees had the day off, but employees of Dutchess and Orange counties still had to show up for work. Both counties have traditionally closed on all federal holidays, including Columbus Day, Veterans Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day. In addition, they are also closed to observe other non-federal holidays such as Lincoln's Birthday and Election Day. However, despite being both a federal and New York state holiday, Juneteenth was not recognized by either Orange or Dutchess counties. Orange County Executive Steve Neuhaus' office confirmed the county was open on June 20. Duchess County Executive and congressional candidate Marc Molinaro did not initially respond to a request for comment, but his office eventually reached out saying Molinaro "supports Juneteenth being a county holiday and he has gone on the record supporting it." His office cited a 2020 quote in which Molinaro said Juneteenth "should be a national celebration of freedom." but noted the approval of Juneteenth as a county holiday is the work of the County Legislature. Read the full story at wpdh [dot] com.

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