Resolution J1530-2013

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

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  • Apr 30, 2013: ADOPTED
  • Apr 30, 2013: REPORTED TO CALENDAR FOR CONSIDERATION
  • Apr 26, 2013: REFERRED TO FINANCE

Text

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
York.

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