June 19 – the date of June 19, which marks the end of American slavery – will become an official holiday in New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced.
This move comes when millions of Americans plan to mark with marches and personal celebrations the date 1865, when the last American slaves were released.
Several countries are already celebrating Juninades as an official holiday and are pushing for it to be declared a national holiday.
The significance of the date increased this year amid protests by Black Lives Matter.
Mayor de Blasio told a news conference on June 19th that the date would be celebrated as an official city holiday beginning in 2021 and would also be a public school holiday.
He said: “We will work with all unions to work on the plan, we will give this day the importance and recognition it deserves.
“Every city worker, every student will have the opportunity to reflect on the significance of our history and truth.”
Earlier this week, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an order making June 19 – also known as Liberation Day and Freedom Day – a paid holiday for government workers.
Andrew Cuomo said he would introduce legislation to make the day a holiday for all New Yorkers by 2021.
Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam also promised to celebrate June 2021 in the former Confederate capital, which rebelled against the United States during the Civil War over the legal right to enslave blacks.
In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Wolfe also signed an order making June a public holiday.
He said in a statement: “In recent weeks, people across the country have come together to demand an end to systemic racism and oppression of African Americans.”
“Freedom for all is not fully realized until everyone is truly free. This June, on June 19, we have the opportunity to unite against injustice and create lasting change. “ he continued.
Texas was the first state to declare June a holiday in 1980. Now all but four states observe or recognize the date in some form.
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This year, the date has become particularly visible in the public eye amid a wave of protests over racial inequality following the deaths of several unarmed African Americans. Rallies in June are planned in Washington and the United States.
On June 19, 1865, the enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, received the news that slavery had been abolished by President Abraham Lincoln two years earlier.
According to historians, the news took so long to reach slaves in Texas, in part because of fighting that continued even after the Confederacy surrendered, ending the Civil War.
Corporate America also treats June with respect with more reverence than in previous years, with Nike, Uber and Twitter employees receiving a paid day off.
Google has asked employees to cancel non-urgent meetings and instead “create a space for learning and reflection.”
Amazon told employees to “take some time to think, learn and support each other.”
In Washington, a senior Senate Republican said on June 18 that he would introduce a bill to make June 19 a federal holiday.
Four Democrats also announced a similar proposal.
In the House of Representatives, the Texas congresswoman, who has been pushing for a national holiday for two decades, told CBS that the chances of the holiday becoming a reality are growing.