Memorializing Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim June 19, 2013, as Juneteenth Day in New York State

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  • 26 / Apr / 2013
  • 30 / Apr / 2013
  • 30 / Apr / 2013

Resolution Details

Law Section:
Resolutions, Legislative



LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION memorializing Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to
proclaim June 19, 2013, as Juneteenth Day in New York State

WHEREAS, Juneteenth is the oldest-known celebration of the ending of
slavery; and
WHEREAS, This Legislative Body is justly proud to memorialize Governor
Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim June 19, 2013, as Juneteenth Day in New York
State; and
WHEREAS, This year marks the 148th Anniversary of celebrating June-
teenth which began on June 19, 1865, the date Union soldiers under the
command of Major General George Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas,
with the news that the Civil War had ended and that all slaves were
free; and
WHEREAS, One of General Granger's first orders was Order No. 3 which
was read aloud to the people of Texas and which stated: "The people of
Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Exec-
utive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an abso-
lute equity of rights and rights of property between masters and former
slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that
between employer and free laborer."; and
WHEREAS, Many of the newly-freed slaves stayed in their locations to
learn about the new employer/employee relationship between themselves
and their former masters, while others chose to reach family members in
other states, and still others chose to move to the Northern states; and
WHEREAS, Settling into new areas as free men and women brought on new
realities and challenges of establishing a heretofore non-existent
status for Black people in America; and
WHEREAS, The celebration of Juneteenth allowed freed slaves and their
descendants to recount the memories of that great day in 1865 when free-
dom was proclaimed, and also served as a release from the pressures of
settling into new territories; and
WHEREAS, Juneteenth has been known by a variety of names, including
"Jun-Jun," "Freedom Day," "Emancipation Day" and "Emancipation Cele-
bration," but regardless of what the day is called, it is a day to cele-
brate freedom; and
WHEREAS, A wide range of activities became traditional at Juneteenth
celebrations, including barbecuing, baseball, rodeos, fishing and drink-
ing strawberry soda; and
WHEREAS, While Juneteenth is a time for celebration, it is also a time
for reflection, education and self-improvement; celebration participants
listen to elders recount the past, attend prayer services, and learn
from educational speakers; and
WHEREAS, In some instances, Juneteenth participants were not permitted
to use public parks to hold the celebrations; activities sometimes took
place on church grounds or in rural areas until more African Americans
owned land and donated it for the festivities; one such park is Booker
T. Washington Park in Mexia, Texas; and
WHEREAS, In 1980, the State of Texas was the first state to recognize
Juneteenth as an official state holiday, through the efforts of Al
Edwards, an African American State Legislator; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That this Legislative Body pause in its deliberations to
memorialize Governor Andrew M. Cuomo to proclaim June 19, 2013, as June-
teenth Day in New York State; and be it further
RESOLVED, That a copy of this Resolution, suitably engrossed, be tran-
smitted to The Honorable Andrew M. Cuomo, Governor of the State of New


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