Following the City of Yonkers MHACY will add Juneteenth “Emancipation Day” to its calendar of official holidays

YONKERS, NY (May 3, 2022) – Following the City of Yonkers and cities and states across the country, the Municipal Housing Authority for the City of Yonkers will recognize Juneteenth as an official holiday.

Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States, will be celebrated this year on Monday, June 20 since it falls on a Sunday. MHACY employees will have the day off and essential staff will be earn holiday pay.

“We recognize Yonkers’ Mayor Mike Spano’s leadership on marking this important day in US History. MHACY, like the City of Yonkers, will also be adding Juneteenth to its staff holiday schedule,’’ said MHACY President and CEO Wilson Kimball.

Mayor Spano said, “I commend MHACY for joining the City of Yonkers in recognizing the social responsibility we have to our growing diverse communities. Juneteenth is our opportunity both to celebrate our history, as one city and one community.”

Chairman of the MHACY Board of Directors James Landy added, “It’s the absolute right thing to do.”

Juneteenth (short for “June Nineteenth”) marks the day when federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas in 1865 to take control of the state and ensure that all enslaved people be freed.

Juneteenth National Independence Day became a national holiday after it was signed into law by President Joe Biden on Thursday June 17th, 2021.

History of Juneteenth

On January 1st, 1863, Abraham Lincoln declared the end of slavery with the Emancipation Proclamation. Two and half years later, and two months after the end of the Civil War, Union troops arrived in Galveston on June 19th, 1865 to find that news of the proclamation had not yet reached Galveston and that people were still being held as slaves in Texas.

The leader of the Union Troops, General Gordon Granger then formally announced the emancipation from the balcony of the former Confederate Army headquarters.

The reason why the news about the emancipation took so long to reach Texas is subject to speculation. One theory is that the messenger who was originally sent with the news had been killed before he reached Texas. A more likely scenario is that the local slave owners simply held onto the information, ignoring the emancipation order.