New York

New York declares Juneteenth a state holiday

North America

New York’s governor has signed an executive order recognizing Juneteenth as a paid holiday for state employees to commemorate the emancipation of slaves in the U.S.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he will propose legislation next year making June 19th a permanent state holiday.

“It is a day we should all reflect upon. It is a day that is especially relevant in this moment in history,” Cuomo said.

While the holiday is an official observance in 47 states, it was previously only a state holiday in Texas.

Over 50 companies including Nike, Target, Twitter and the NFL have given Juneteenth as a holiday for employees.

Also known as Juneteenth Independence Day and Freedom Day, this holiday commemorates the 19 June 1865 announcement of the abolition of slavery in Texas and the emancipation of African-American slaves throughout the Confederate South.