NATIONAL JUNETEENTH OBSERVANCE FOUNDATION (NJOF)
NATIONAL JUNETEENTH CHRISTIAN LEADERSHIP COUNCIL (NJCLC)
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF JUNETEENTH JAZZ PRESENTERS (NAJJP)
NATIONAL JUNETEENTH HOLIDAY CAMPAIGN

Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Chairman
P.O. Box 269
Belzoni, Mississippi 39038
662-392-2016     662-247-4767 Fax
www.NationalJuneteenth.com     www.Juneteenth.us


May 23, 2017


U.S. Senate
U.S. Capitol Building
Washington, DC 20510
202-224-3121

U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Capitol Building
Washington, DC 20515
202-224-3121

Dear Members of Congress:

We cordially invite you to attend the annual WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance, June 18-19, 2017, in our nation's capitol. Our activities will include a historic Juneteenth Flag Ceremony at the Pentagon on Monday, the "19th of June" - Juneteenth, to honor the 20,000 colored navy sailors who fought for their own freedom during the Civil War.

Juneteenth, or the "19th of June", recognizes June 19, 1865, in Galveston, TX, when Union General Gordon Granger announced freedom for all slaves in the Southwest, the last major geographic vestige of slavery in the United States following the end of the Civil War. This occurred more than two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln. After the issuing of General Order #3 by General Granger, the former slaves celebrated jubilantly, establishing America's second Independence Day Celebration and the oldest African-American holiday observance.

Juneteenth is now recognized as a state holiday or state holiday observance in 45 states and the District of Columbia. The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives first officially recognized Juneteenth in 1997, during the 105th Congress, and continues to pass similar legislation every year.

We would like for Juneteenth to be established as a national holiday observance similar to Flag Day or Patriot Day. We have requested that President Donald Trump support any legislation passed by congresss, issue a Presidential Proclamation or sign a executive order to establish Juneteenth Independence Day as a National Day of Observance.

It is our understanding that the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives must then vote to suspend their rules against the official recognition of a holiday or commemorative day in order to introduce legislation to officially recognize Juneteenth Independence Day as a National Day of Observance in support of a Presidential Proclamation. This is our understanding that this was the same procedure that was done to officially recognize Patriot Day as a national holiday observance.

The "18th of June" has been established as the National Day of Reconconciliation and Healing from the Legacy of Enslavement and the National Day of Remembrance of the Maafa in America.

We urge members of the U.S. Senate to support the passage of a Senate Apology For Slavery with concurring legislation in the U.S. House of Representatives. It was wonderful to learn of the U.S. House of Representatives Apology For Slavery and Jim Crow sponsored by Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) in 2008 and similiar legislation that was passed in the U.S. Senate sponsored by former U.S. Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) in 2009. We hope to have the legislation passed during the week of Juneteenth with both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate concurring on legislation.

Our first National Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement was the result of the second historic introduction of Congressional Apology For Slavery legislation by former U.S. Congressman Tony Hall (D-OH) on Juneteenth, the “19th of June”, 2000. As the leader of the "Modern Juneteenth Movement" in America, I was honored to work closely with Congressman Hall on the apology as an important step toward racial healing and reconciliation in America. Since that time, several states have passed apology for slavery legislation including Virginia, Alabama, North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey and Florida.

We now observe the annual
World Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement on the "20th of August", in Hampton, VA. This commemorates the date the first slave ship, the White Lion, landed in Virginia at Old Point Comfort, today's Fort Monroe, from the shores of West Africa. This occurred on the "latter end of August, 1619", with the arrival of twenty Angolans, America's first Middle Passage.

America needs healing from the scars of enslavement. The annual observance of Juneteenth in America affords the country a tremendous opportunity to constructively reflect on our legacy of enslavement and move forward as a unified nation. As a leader in our country, your public participation in Juneteenth will be instrumental in bringing all Americans together in a spirit of unity and reconciliation.

Our first National Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement was the result of the second historic introduction of Congressional Apology For Slavery legislation by former U.S. Congressman Tony Hall (D-OH) on Juneteenth, the "19th of June", 2000. As the leader of the "Modern Juneteenth Movement" in America, I was honored to work closely with Congressman Hall on the apology as an important step toward racial healing and reconciliation in America. Since that time, several states have passed apology for slavery legislation including Virginia, Alabama, North Carolina, Maryland, New Jersey and Florida.

We invite you to attend our National Juneteenth Prayer Breakfast, on Monday, the "19th of June at 8:30am, at the National Press Club, 529 14th Street, N.W., on the 14th Floor.

Thank you for your consideration of this important matter. We look forward to your continued support in the establishment of Juneteenth Independence Day as a National Day of Observance, for the purpose of reconciliation and healing from the legacy of enslavement in America!

Sincerely,


Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D.
Founder & Chairman
National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign
National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF)
National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC)
National Association of Juneteenth Jazz Presenters (NAJJP)

enclosures

Informational Flyer – 2017 National Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement

Calendar of Events – 2017 WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance

Informational Flyer – 2017 World Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement

Flyer – "June Is Juneteenth African American Jazz Legacy Month!"

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