Dancers from Long Island Youth Foundation perform at the Town...

Dancers from Long Island Youth Foundation perform at the Town of Hempstead Juneteenth Freedom Day celebration on Saturday in Hempstead. Credit: Debbie Egan-Chin

Juneteenth will be observed as a federal holiday on Monday for the second time since President Joe Biden signed legislation declaring the day a paid holiday for federal employees last year.

Juneteenth, or June 19, celebrates the arrival of Union troops in Galveston, Texas, in 1865 — two months after the end of the Civil War — to announce to slaves that they were free. The day, which will be observed by governments and school districts Monday, has turned into both a celebration and a call for racial and social justice.

Former Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in 2020 ordered the day to become a paid state holiday and earlier this year New York City Mayor Eric Adams also designated Juneteenth a paid holiday for city workers. Suffolk, which adopted Juneteenth as a holiday for county employees last year, is hosting a Juneteenth Jubilee at the H. Lee Dennison Building in Hauppauge on Monday.

The event, which is expected to include State Attorney General Letitia James, will feature musical performances, an awards ceremony and food trucks run by Black chefs.

In Nassau, Juneteenth is not a paid holiday for county employees.

Legis. Siela Bynoe (D-Westbury) has sponsored legislation to add Juneteenth to the county's list of paid holidays.

Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman has said paid holidays were subject to negotiations through collective bargaining with labor unions. Several local municipalities are in negotiations with their unions to permanently adopt Juneteenth as a paid holiday for workers.

The red, black, and green Black Liberation Flag will be raised over the state Capitol and other state offices on Monday, which on Long Island includes the Perry B. Duryea State Office Building in Hauppauge. 

Closures for the holiday include: 

• All nonessential federal offices including the post office.

• Wall Street, where the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq will both be closed.

• Courts and schools are closed.

With Robert Brodsky

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