Gov. Andrew Cuomo said this Friday, June 19 -- known as Juneteenth in honor of the end of slavery in the U.S. -- will be a holiday for state workers.
He also said he’ll work to make it a statewide holiday for 2021.
Juneteenth commemorates the day in 1865 when slaves were finally freed in Texas, the last state in the nation to comply with President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation in 1863.
Cuomo said it’s even more important to honor the day in the era of worldwide protests supporting the Black Lives Matter movement.
“It is a day that we should all reflect upon,” he said. “It’s a day that is especially relevant in this moment in history.”
The governor signed an executive order giving state workers this Friday off, and he will propose a bill to make the date a statewide holiday next year.
The State Legislature is expected to approve the measure.