At yesterday’s Town Board meeting, the Southampton Town Board unanimously adopted resolutions which allow for the amendment of the 2022 holiday schedule to include the observance of Juneteenth on Monday, June 20. The Town joins both New York State and the federal government in officially observing Juneteenth.
While the Town and the Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA) have not yet completed their negotiations to permanently add Juneteenth to the Collective Bargaining Agreement’s list of observed holidays, along with other changes subject to negotiation, both have reached a tentative agreement to amend their collective bargaining agreement to add the observation of Juneteenth as a holiday for this year only, to be observed on Monday, June 20.
All Town offices will be closed, including Justice Court, the Recycling Centers and the Senior/Youth Centers.
Supervisor Schneiderman noted, “The Town looks forward to formalizing its observation of Juneteenth, as a way of further demonstrating our commitment to making the Town’s workforce more diverse, and ensuring its communities are safe and welcoming places for all people. We invite our employees, as well as our residents and guests, to spend some time thinking about the significance of Juneteenth and the end of slavery in our country, and about what each of us can do in our everyday lives to strive for opportunity and equality for all.”
Juneteenth is celebrated on the 19th of June. The event commemorates June 19, 1865, when Gordon Granger, a Union general, arrived in Galveston, Texas, to inform enslaved African-Americans that the Civil War had ended and they had been freed. Granger arrived in Galveston about two months after General Robert E. Lee had surrendered at Appomattox, Virginia. His announcement put into effect the Emancipation Proclamation, which had been issued more than two and a half years earlier on January 1, 1863, by President Abraham Lincoln. Slavery was fully ended in the United States with the ratification of the 13th Amendment in December of 1865.