Juneteenth is officially a New York State holiday as of yesterday, June 17, 2020. Named for the combination of June and Nineteenth, it also goes by the names Juneteenth Independence Day and Black Independence Day. Juneteenth commemorates freedom, and is a time for reflection and celebration. Local celebrations often include parades, sports competitions, speeches, and reading the Emancipation Proclamation. People of all backgrounds come together to recognize a time in our nation’s history that continues to influence our society today.
Image: JUNETEENTH “The news of liberation of slaves came to Texas more than two years after President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation went into effect on January 1, 1863; African Americans across the state were made aware of their right to freedom on June 19, 1865, when Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston with federal troops to read General Order No. 3 announcing the end of the Civil War and that all enslaved people were now free … The observance of Juneteenth honors the history, perseverance, and achievements of African Americans, and celebrates America’s progress and continuing commitment to realizing the principles of liberty and equality upon which our nation was founded.”
- NY Executive Order 204, issued June 17, 2020
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