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At their meeting of June 15, 2020, the Board of Trustees unanimously adopted the following resolution supporting the Juneteenth holiday and honoring the African American community in Irvington:
Mayor Smith offered the following resolution, which was seconded by Trustee Kehoe and adopted:
WHEREAS Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery in the United States and is also known as Emancipation Day, Juneteenth Independence Day, and Black Independence Day; and
WHEREAS On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger, a New Yorker and a West Point graduate, arrived in Galveston, Texas, and announced the end of the Civil War and the end of slavery which had come 2½ years earlier when President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, and
WHEREAS Many slave owners in Texas had continued to hold their enslaved people captive after the original announcement and therefore it was on June 19, 1865 that approximately 250,000 former enslaved Africans learned that legal slavery had ended, and
WHEREAS Juneteenth became then and continues to be today, a symbolic date representing African American freedom, and
WHEREAS New York State recognized Juneteenth as a holiday by N.Y. Executive Law, chapter 168-a(3) in 2004, and
WHEREAS The Village of Irvington Board of Trustees holds a strong belief in the value of equity and inclusion and fair treatment for all those who live, work or visit the Village, therefore
BE IT RESOLVED that June 19, 2020, Juneteenth, is officially recognized as a day to honor, celebrate and commemorate the African American community in Irvington.
The vote resulted as follows:
AYES: 5 (Mayor Smith, Trustees Kehoe, Gilliland, Silverberg and Lonky) NAYS: 0