Chairman's Statement Regarding

June 3, 2017

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Statement by


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)

Sponsors of the annual
WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance

GALVESTON JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance

Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom from enslavement in America. It is observed on the "19th of June" and commemorates the date, June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas, when Union General Gordon Granger issued General Order #3 that "all slaves are free" through the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln. It took over two and a half years for the news of freedom to be announced by General Granger in the American southwest, in Texas, the last southern state in rebellion to allow slavery following the end of the Civil War.

Our ancestors, Americans of African descent, trapped in the tyranny of enslavement, celebrated when they learned about the issuing of General Order #3. This created the oldest African American holiday that our people have celebrated for over 145 years.

The history of legislative action to abolish slavery in America began with the passage of the
Vermont State Constitution on July 8, 1777. The first African American to earn a bachelorís degree from an American college or university and the first African American elected to a state legislature in U.S. history also came from Vermont.

Abraham Lincoln issued an Executive Order to abolish slavery in the District of Columbia on April 16, 1862. Known as Emancipation Day, the date is celebrated as a holiday in the District of Columbia.

On September 22, 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This Executive Order freeing our ancestors would go into effect on January 1, 1863, if the southern states remained in rebellion.

The news of freedom spread to different states at different times. Florida's Emancipation Day is May 23rd. Mississippi's Emancipation Day is May 8th. Other dates for Emancipation Day are numerous throughout the country.

Following the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation, the last southern state in rebellion, following the end of the Civil War, to enslave our people was Texas. On the "19th of June", 1865, Juneteenth, our ancestors in Galveston, TX learned of their freedom and celebrated.

Slavery did not end throughout America until the 13th Amendment was adopted on December 18, 1865, known as U.S. Emancipation Day.

As the leader of the "Modern Juneteenth Movement" in America, I have always encouraged the celebration of Emancipation Day in communities across the country. People are free to celebrate the end of enslavement on whatever date or dates they choose.

Those of us who are part of the "Modern Juneteenth Movement" in America have chosen to honor our ancestors, Americans of African descent, who heard the announcement of freedom and celebrated, by joining them on Galveston's Emancipation Day, the "19th of June", Juneteenth Independence Day.

Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or state holiday observance in 45 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Congress as Juneteenth Independence Day. President Donald Trump has been urged to support legislation to make Juneteenth Independence Day a National Day of Observance in America. .

We continue to push for legislation for Juneteenth Independence Day to become a National Day of Observance, like Flag Day or Patriot Day by President Trump and the U.S. Congress.

We encourage everyone to support our efforts.


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