Three Juneteenth flags are raised in Brooklyn, the Bronx and Harlem in commemoration of the holiday highlighting the end of slavery in America. As more people become vaccinated, health officials announce that COVID-19 infections in New York State have been on the decline for nearly 60 days. Moderna seeks full approval from the FDA for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Mayor Bill de Blasio announces that 8.5 million people have received at least their first dose of the vaccine; however, vaccine rates are low among Black and Latino populations. The U.S. surpasses 300 million COVID-19 vaccine doses administered. Actor Clarence Williams III dies at age 81. Williams is best known for his role in the television series “The Mod Squad” and the films “Purple Rain,” “52 Pick-Up” and “Tales from the Hood.” Ongoing violence in the city takes the life of 10-year-old Justin Wallace in Far Rockaway, Queens. The fifth grader was shot along with his uncle, who survived inside his home by a man who was feuding with Wallace’s uncle over a parking space.
Facebook’s Oversight Board announces that its ban on former President Donald Trump’s personal account will last until January 2023. The Department of Justice says that more than 500 people have been arrested since the 2021 United States Capitol attack. It is also seeking information on 250 other suspects. The nationwide death toll from the COVID-19 virus exceeds 600,000. The city launches an initiative to expand low-cost and free child care for thousands of families after the passage of state legislation that raises the qualifying income threshold for subsidized child care and extends full-time child care support to families who work part-time. A portion of a 12-story condominium building collapses in Surfside, Florida, leaving 98 people dead. Over the course of three days, at least 10 people are killed and another 50 are injured in nine mass shootings in six states. The New York State Senate passes the Adult Survivors Act creating a one-year look back window for survivors of sex crimes who were 18 years of age or older at the time such crimes were committed. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announces plans to close the state’s only women’s prison, Edna Mahan Correctional Facility. Murphy says violent attacks on female inmates for several years led to the decision. R&B singer Mary J. Blige is inducted into the Apollo Theater’s Walk of Fame. Crime survivors, victims’ rights advocates and state legislators call on the State Senate to pass the Elder Parole Act and the Fair and Timely Act. N.J. Gov. Phil Murphy signs legislation creating the COVID-19 Pandemic Task Force on Racial and Health Disparities. The New York State Assembly passes a bill establishing the New York State Community Commission on Reparations Remedies. President Joe Biden signs a bill making Juneteenth (June 19) a federal holiday. Federal government employees get to take the day off every year for the holiday. Several celebrations take place across the city for Juneteenth including a city sponsored event at St. Nicholas Park in Harlem attended by several elected officials. The National Urban League and local officials kick off construction on the civil rights organization’s $242 million, 414,000-square-foot Urban League Empowerment Center. The building on 125th Street in Harlem is set to open in 2025. The Dance Theatre of Harlem receives a $10 million gift from philanthropists MacKenzie Scott and Dan Jewett. Two statues of George Floyd in Newark and Brooklyn are vandalized. His killer, former police officer Derek Chauvin, is senteced to 22 and a half years in prison for second-degree murder. The Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court suspends former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani from practicing law over his false claims about the 2020 election. Voters head to the polls for the city’s mayoral primary election. The election is the first time the city uses ranked-choice voting. Eric Adams wins the Democratic primary defeating 12 candidates.
Curtis Sliwa wins the Republican primary. In Buffalo, community activist and self-avowed socialist India Walton defeats incumbent mayor Byron Brown to win the Democratic primary. Bill Cosby is released from prison after serving two years of a three to 10 year prison term for sexual assault after his conviction is overturned by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Cosby had been reliant on an unwritten promise that a district attorney made to not prosecute him. The number of COVID-19 vaccinations administered worldwide exceeds 3 billion.