Juneteenth is Now a Holiday For New York Employees
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed an executive order that makes June 19, or Juneteenth, a paid holiday for employees in the state. Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day, commemorates the emancipation of slaves in the United States. ABC reports that Governor Cuomo says he will propose legislation in 2022 making June 19 a permanent holiday.
The story behind this day is pretty crazy. President Abraham Lincoln first issued the Emancipation Proclamation declaring all slaves free on September 22, 1862, but it wouldn't be until three years later on June 19, 1865 .when Union general Gordon Granger read the federal orders in Galveston, Texas. Folks back then didn't have the modern luxuries, like simple texting, we might take for granted nowadays.
Many of the celebrations stem back to 1866 to small church gatherings in Texas, before eventually spreading across the deep south. The day regained popularity after the civil rights movement in the 1970s, as it focused on African-American heritage and art.
Texas was the first to make Juneteenth a state holiday in 1980. Virginia governor Ralph Northam also recently announced legislation to make the day a state holiday.