FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (1/28/05)
Contact: Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Chairman
National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign
National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF)
National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC)
web sites: www.19thofJune.com
Chairman of the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign
Optimistic In 2005
President Bush Continues to Ignore Juneteenth Petitions
For a National Holiday Observance
(Washington, DC) - Juneteenth may finally become recognized as a National Holiday in America as more state legislatures pass bills to recognize what many consider America's 2nd Independence Day. Juneteenth is now an official state holiday or state holiday observance in 15 sates due in large part to the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign lead by Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D.
"New Jersey and New York passed legislation to make Juneteenth a state holiday observance last year," states Rev., Dr. Ronald Myers, Sr., Founder & Chairman of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF). "We are optimistic that many more states will pass similar legislation in 2005."
Juneteenth commemorates the day when slaves in the last geographic area in America where slavery existed learned of their freedom. This took place on June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas, when Union General Gordon Granger read General Order #3, announcing that "all slaves are free" by Proclamation of President Abraham Lincoln. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. It took over two and a half years for the news to travel to southwest Texas.
Juneteenth, or the "19th of June", was recognized by the Congress of the United States as "Juneteenth Independence Day" through the passage of Senate Joint Resolution 56 and House Joint Resolution 11 in 1997. A National Juneteenth Congressional Committee has been established and is chaired by Congressman Danny K. Davis (D-IL).
"We look forward to working with Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) who was a key supporter of legislation to make Juneteenth a state holiday observance in Illinois while a state senator in Illinois." states Dr. Myers. "The 6th Annual WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance, June 15-19, 2005, at the Lincoln Memorial and the US Capitol, will continue to bring recognition to the importance of Juneteenth Independence Day to the nation."
Thousands of petitions have been forwarded to the White House urging President Bush to make Juneteenth a National Holiday Observance and to establish a National Juneteenth Commission. President Bush has ignored these petitions and has not responded to Juneteenth leaders during his first term in office.
"As the former governor of Texas, where Juneteenth is recognized as a paid state holiday, one can only wonder why Juneteenth does not receive more attention by President Bush," states Rev., Dr. Myers. "However, we will continue to urge him to do what is right for the country."
Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or state holiday observance in Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Delaware, Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, California, Wyoming, Illinois, Missouri, Connecticut, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York and a district holiday observance in the District of Columbia. Many more states including Arkansas, Mississippi, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Oregon, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Virginia, Alabama and Colorado are contemplating legislation to establish Juneteenth as a state holiday in 2005.
"Juneteenth is a freedom celebration significant for all Americans and the forerunner to the 13th Amendment," states John Thompson, Founder & CEO of Juneteenth America, Inc., host of the 8th Annual National Juneteenth Convention and Expo, August 5-6, 2005, in Ontario, California. "Juneteenth brings all Americans together to celebrate the end of slavery and freedom."
"The official recognition of Juneteenth Independence Day and the end of slavery by state governments and congress are very significant steps in bringing healing to America from the legacy of slavery," states Rev., Dr. Myers, also Chairman of the National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC), sponsors of the 6th Annual National Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Slavery and the 4th Annual National Juneteenth Black Holocaust "MAAFA" Memorial Service in Washington, DC.
For information on the 4th Annual National Juneteenth Black Holocaust "Maafa" Memorial Service, the 6th Annual National Day of Reconciliation and Healing from the Legacy of Slavery, the 6th Annual WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH 2003 National Holiday Observance and the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign, contact Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D. at 662-247-1471, 662-392-2016, 202-331-8864, or e-mail: MyersFound@aol.com or web sites: www.Juneteenth.us and www.19thofJune.com.
For information about the 8th Annual National Juneteenth Convention and Expo, contact John Thompson at 909-621-9707 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or web site: www.Juneteenthamerica.us.