SARATOGA SPRINGS — In recognition of the official emancipation of African-Americans throughout the United States, city Mayor Meg Kelly of Saratoga Springs has proposed making Juneteenth a holiday for city employees, beginning in 2021.
On June 19, 1865, two years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, African-Americans across the state of Texas became aware of their emancipation and their fundamental rights as free men. This day has become known as “Juneteenth,” a day that celebrates and commemorates the end of slavery in the United States and the beginning of a new era of brotherhood, acceptance, and the recognition of shared human rights no matter one’s race or heritage.
Last week, state Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced he is advancing legislation to make Juneteenth an official state holiday next year.
“I fully support Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order,” Mayor Kelly said in a statement. “We are going to work with our unions to make Juneteenth a holiday for our employees for 2021. I am thrilled that this historically significant day is becoming more recognized across the state, country, and right here in Saratoga Springs.”