On June 17, 2020, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order declaring June 19th an official holiday for government employees. Juneteenth recognizes this day in June 1865 following the surrender of Confederate general Robert E. Lee ending the Civil War. Union general Gordon Grander arrived in Texas to announce the newly found freedom for all enslaved African-Americans and the end of the Civil War. This was a pivotal moment in America putting into effect the Emancipation Proclamation by Abraham Lincoln.
The Emancipation Proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” (The Emancipation Proclamation 2019))
Juneteenth celebrations are dated back to 1866 with picnics, barbecues, and parades. You may see the Juneteenth flag flying in partnership with the U.S. flag and many red foods overflowing across tables that represent the bloodshed suffered by African-Americans during the slave trade.
Celebrations Have evolved over time, however the meaning has remained unchanged. As Americans, we all challenge ourselves to do better and be better as well all join together in celebration our freedoms.
Juneteenth is also know as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day and has been celebrations at dated back to 1866 with picnics, parades and festivals.
Marcotte, A. (2021, June 1). By the Numbers: Juneteenth. American Libraries Magazine. https://americanlibrariesmagazine.org/2021/06/01/by-the-numbers-juneteenth/.
National Archives and Records Administration. (n.d.). The Emancipation Proclamation. National Archives and Records Administration. https://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured-documents/emancipation-proclamation.
New York State. (n.d.). Executive Order Delaring Juneteenth a Holiday for New York State Employees. https://www.governor.ny.gov/sites/default/files/atoms/files/EO-204.pdf.
Taylor, D. B. (2020, June 13). So You Want to Learn About Juneteenth? The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/article/juneteenth-day-celebration.html.