Juneteenth to be official New York City holiday, de Blasio says

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said Juneteenth will be made an “official” city holiday starting 2021, saying the day deserves “recognition.”

“Starting next year, Juneteenth will be an official city holiday, and a school holiday,” de Blasio said Friday, saying it was important “to give this day the recognition it deserves.”

TRUMP MOVES TULSA RALLY TO JUNE 20 OVER ‘JUNETEENTH’ CONCERNS

De Blasio added that “every city worker and student” should have “a moment to reflect on this and think of the work to do ahead.”

De Blasio’s announcement comes after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order Wednesday to make Juneteenth a holiday for New York State employees, and vowed to propose legislation to commemorate the day as an official state holiday next year.

Juneteenth –­ first made a state holiday by Texas in 1980 –­ commemorates June 19, 1865, the day news finally reached African-Americans in Texas that President Abraham Lincoln had issued the Emancipation Proclamation freeing slaves living in Confederate states two years earlier. When Union soldiers arrived in Galveston to bring the news that slavery had been abolished, former slaves celebrated.

CUOMO TO SIGN EXECUTIVE ORDER TO MAKE JUNETEENTH OFFICIAL STATE HOLIDAY

The move to make Juneteenth a holiday for state employees comes amid turmoil across the nation and around the world over the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody on May 25 after a Minneapolis officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes.

Meanwhile, New York City’s first lady Chirlane McCray, de Blasio’s wife, announced the formation of a “racial justice and reconciliation commission” to “establish a definitive historical record in New York City, designed for New Yorkers to voice their experiences and find where discrimination exists.”

CLICK HERE FOR THE FOX NEWS APP

“New York City is the first major city to undergo a comprehensive truth and reconciliation process,” McCray said Friday.