The Greenwich community will come together this Friday at Town Hall from 12:00 noon til 1:00pm to commemorate Juneteenth.
A proclamation ceremony will be held at noon and the Reverend Thomas Nins of First Baptist Church and YWCA of Greenwich CEO Mary Lee Kiernan will lead a program, along with First Selectman Fred Camillo.
A few weeks ago Governor Ned Lamont signed into law Public Act 22-128, which establishes a new legal state holiday on June 19 known as Juneteenth Independence Day.
Juneteenth, also known as Freedom Day or Emancipation Day, is the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.
While the Emancipation Proclamation became effective on January 1, 1863, the news took time to make its way around the country. As such, it was not until June 19, 1865, when the Union army brought word of the proclamation to enslaved people in Galveston, Texas, making them among the last to be freed.
The effective date of the legislation as approved by the General Assembly is October 1, 2022, meaning that the first time Juneteenth Independence Day is legally recognized as a state holiday in Connecticut will be on June 19, 2023.
The legislation was approved with the near-unanimous support of lawmakers in the General Assembly, by a vote of 148 to 1 in the House of Representatives and 35 to 1 in the Senate.
May 8, 2022