The State Assembly recently passed legislation establishing Abolition Commemoration Day, which would be observed on the second Monday in July.

This commemorates the Abolition Act, which passed the New York State Legislature on March 31, 1817 and abolished slavery effective July 4, 1827. Abolition Commemoration Day, not only marks the end of slavery in New York, but also honors the bravery and sacrifices of abolitionists.

Also passed was legislation that would recognize Juneteenth as a public holiday in New York State. Juneteenth, June 19th, marks the day Union General Gordon Granger and federal troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, taking control of the state and enforcing the Emancipation Proclamation. Today, Juneteenth commemorates Black and African American freedom and achievements, while encouraging continuous self-development and respect for all cultures.