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Juneteenth becomes an official holiday in NY

FILE - In this Friday, June 19, 2020 photo, fireworks explode during Juneteenth celebrations...
FILE - In this Friday, June 19, 2020 photo, fireworks explode during Juneteenth celebrations above the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood in the Brooklyn borough of New York.(John Minchillo | AP)
Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 10:31 AM EDT
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ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation officially making Juneteenth a New York state holiday.

Juneteeth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people in the United States. The Democrat had used an executive order to make Juneteenth a paid holiday for state employees this year. The state Legislature had passed a bill in July to make it a state holiday.

President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863. But not everyone heard about it right away. It wasn’t until June 19th, 1865, that enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, found out about it from Union army personnel, making them among the last to know about their freedom.

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