Troy Mayor issues proclamation declaring Juneteenth city holiday

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TROY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Mayor Patrick Madden issued a proclamation on Thursday recognizing Juneteenth a city holiday.

This comes after Governor Andrew Cuomo signed an executive order declaring the worldwide celebration which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, as a holiday for state employees.

The event, celebrated on June 19th of each year, commemorates the arrival of Union troops to Galveston, Texas in 1865 to free all remaining enslaved African Americans.

A copy and transcript of the declaration can be read below:

WHEREAS, the residents, businesses, and governmental institutions of the City of Troy, New York are firmly committed to celebrating & promoting diversity, inclusion and cultural traditions of our City’s communities; and

WHEREAS, Juneteenth is a worldwide celebration which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States of America; and

WHEREAS, on June 19th, 1865, Union soldiers led by Major General Gordon Granger, arrived in Galveston, Texas to enforce the Emancipation Proclamation – signed by President Lincoln over two and a half years prior on September 22, 1862 – and freed all remaining enslaved people in the state of Texas; and

WHEREAS, initially a regional celebration popular in Texas and neighboring states which brought remaining family members together who had resettled after June 19th, 1865, Juneteenth grew to become a national event during which African American communities gathered to share in the spirit of the day, featuring outdoor activities, food, prayer services; and

WHEREAS, Juneteenth celebrations declined in the early 20th century, the result of educational focus which emphasized the Emancipation Proclamation, shifts in the workforce due to the Great Depression, and popularity of the July 4th holiday; and

WHEREAS, the Civil Rights Movement spurred a resurgence of Juneteenth, leading to the state of Texas declaring it an official state holiday in 1980, and continued to grow as an important national and local celebration of African American freedom, culture, and achievement; and

WHEREAS, on Friday, June 19th, the Troy NY Chapter of the NAACP will host the 1st Annual Juneteenth Festival in Troy’s Riverfront Park to mark this important historical event and bring together families, residents, and local officials to celebrate this important event that promotes equality, respect and understanding between people of all backgrounds and cultures.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED THAT, I, Wm. Patrick Madden, Mayor of the great City of Troy, New York, do hereby recognize and commemorate

Juneteenth

in the City of Troy and encourage all Trojans to explore this important celebration of African American culture, history, and pride.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the City of Troy, New York to be affixed this 18th day of June 2020.

Patrick Madden
Mayor, City of Troy

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