In a tweet, New York Governor, Andrew Cuomo, stated he would sign an executive order making June 19th, aka “Juneteenth” a holiday for New York state employees. He went on to say he will “propose legislation” to make it a state holiday for next year.
Juneteenth, a combination of the words June and nineteenth, marks the end of slavery in the United States. It occurred on June 19, 1865, when Major General Gordon Granger, of the Union Army, landed in Galveston, Texas with news that the civil war had ended and that enslaved people were free.
“Friday is Juneteenth. It commemorates the emancipation of slavery in the United States. It is a day that we should all reflect upon. It’s a day that’s especially relevant in this moment and history,” Cuomo said during a press briefing with reporters.
“I’m going to sign an executive order today,” he added, “recognizing Juneteenth as a holiday for state employees. “I’m going to propose legislation for next year making it an official state holiday.”
New York is just the latest state to move to make the day a formal holiday. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced Tuesday that he also is proposing to establish Juneteenth an official holiday in his state.
Several companies and organizations such as the NFL and Nike have indicated making Juneteenth a paid holiday for their employees (this year) but nothing has been made official as of yet.