Today marks the official observance of Juneteenth, the anniversary of the day in 1865 when Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas to to read aloud the Emancipation Proclamation — two months after the Confederacy had surrendered and two-and-a-half years after the Emancipation Proclamation took effect on Jan. 1, 1863, freeing slaves throughout the United States.

Juneteenth — June 19 — was made a federal holiday last year by legislation signed into law by President Joe Biden.

“Juneteenth marks both the long, hard night of slavery and subjugation and a promise of a brighter morning to come,” the President said in a statement yesterday.

“Great nations don’t ignore their most painful moments. They confront them to grow stronger. And that is what this great nation must continue to do,” Biden said.

“Emancipation marked the beginning, not the end, of America’s work to deliver on the promise of equality. To honor the true meaning of Juneteenth, we must not rest until we deliver the promise of America for all Americans.”

Juneteenth is the first new holiday since Martin Luther King Day was made a federal holiday in 1983.

In observance of the holiday today, the stock market, banks, schools, courts and government offices are closed. The post office is closed and there is no mail delivery today. The Riverhead Free Library is closed.

Residential trash pickup will take place today in Riverhead.

The LIRR, Suffolk County Transit buses and NYC subways and buses will run on a regular weekday schedule

FedEx and UPS will operate normally today.

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.