Phoenix Muskogee news
Black history book reception today


Juneteenth Book


February 11, 2009
Muskogee Phoenix News



(Muskogee, Oklahoma) - The Oklahoma Juneteenth Historical Foundation (OJHF) and the Muskogee Public Library invite the public to attend a Black History Month Juneteenth Book Dedication Reception from 6 to 9 p.m. today at the library.

“The library is hosting another very exciting program when the Rev. Ronald V. Meyers Sr. visits this week,” said Jan Bryant, head librarian at the library.

The book that will be dedicated to the library will be “Juneteenth, A Celebration of Freedom” by Dr. Charles Taylor.

Myers, M.D., is founder and chairman of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF) and the National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC), said Wilma Newton, OJHF president.

“We will also be celebrating the 100th year anniversary of the founding of the NAACP with the Muskogee NAACP Youth Council,” she said.

Juneteenth, or the “19th of June,” recognizes June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas, when Union General Gordon Granger announced freedom for all slaves in the Southwest. This was the last major 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. Upon the reading of General Order Three by General Granger, the former slaves celebrated jubilantly, establishing America’s second Independence Day celebration and the oldest African-American holiday observance, according to a media release.

Juneteenth is now recognized as a state holiday or state holiday observance in Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Delaware, Idaho, Alaska, Iowa, California, Wyoming, Missouri, Connecticut, Illinois, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Colorado, Arkansas, Oregon, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, Virginia, Washington, Tennessee, Massachusetts, North Carolina, West Virginia, South Carolina and Vermont. In 2003, the District of Columbia passed legislation to recognize Juneteenth as a district holiday observance. Many more states, including Utah, Alabama, South Dakota, Pennsylvania, Montana, Wisconsin and Maryland have recognized Juneteenth through state legislative resolutions, gubernatorial proclamations and current state holiday observance legislation.

“Dr. Myers is also the leader of the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign,” Newton said.

“We will have petitions available at the reception for everyone to send to President Barack Obama to make Juneteenth a National Holiday Observance in America. The public is invited to come out and be a part of history.”

Information: Wilma Newton, 781-9248, or visit www.JuneteenthOklahoma.com; or e-mail wilmablessingadmin@myapplemail.com.

For information on the Washington Juneteenth 2009 National Holiday Observance and the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign, call Myers at (662) 247-3364 or (662) 247-1471; e-mail myersfound@aol.com, see Web sites www.Juneteenth.us, www.njclc.com, www.19thofJune.com and www.JuneteenthJazz.com.

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