ALBANY – Juneteenth is now an official holiday in New York State.
Governor Andrew Cuomo first made it a holiday by executive order earlier this year and now made the act permanent after signing legislation on Wednesday.
Juneteenth commemorates June 19, 1865, the day slaves in Texas first learned they had been freed years earlier by President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.
It also celebrates achievements in the Black community.
“I am incredibly proud to sign into law this legislation declaring Juneteenth an official holiday in New York State, a day which commemorates the end to slavery in the United States,” Governor Cuomo said. “This new public holiday will serve as a day to recognize the achievements of the Black community, while also providing an important opportunity for self-reflection on the systemic injustices that our society still faces today.”
The new holiday makes 13 paid holidays for state employees.