FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (6/24/06)
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
Congress on Record Recognizing Juneteenth Independence Day
Congress Urges President Bush to Issue a Presidential Proclamation
Recognizing Juneteenth Independence Day in America
National Media Shamefully Silent on Juneteenth
(Washington, DC) - Earlier this week, Monday, the "19th of June", was Juneteenth Independence Day in America. That's right, America has a 2nd Independence Day, officially recognized by the Congress of the United States for many years. Officially recognized in 19 states as either a state holiday or state holiday observance, and referenced as a special day by Gubernatorial Proclamations or state legislative resolutions in many more states, Juneteenth was totally ignored by the national media again this week.
No mention on Fox News. Silence from CNN. No coverage on C-Span. No comment on MSNBC, with ABC, NBC and CBS all joining in on the greatest national media news boycott in history.
"While the national news continues it's 'blackout' on the significance of Juneteenth in America, the "Modern Juneteenth Movement" continues to make historic strides in Congress," states Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Founder & Chairman of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF), the sponsor of the annual WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance. "Juneteenth is unifying America around our common bond of freedom and its celebration continues to promote healing from the legacy of our dark history of slavery."
The U.S. Senate unanimously passed S.J.R. 42 this week, joining the House of Representatives in "encouraging the people of the United States to observe Juneteenth Independence Day with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs."
The House of Representatives also went on record supporting Juneteenth with the unanimous passage of H.C.R. 160 stating "the President is urged to issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe Juneteenth Independence Day with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs."
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. 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 #3 by General Granger, the former slaves celebrated jubilantly, establishing America's second Independence Day Celebration and the oldest African-American holiday observance.
So why hasn't President Bush, the former Governor of Texas where Juneteenth is a paid state holiday, responded to such an urgent and simple request from congress?
"One thing for sure," states Rev., Dr. Myers, also Chairman of the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign, who has successfully pushed congress and state legislatures across America to pass legislation in support of Juneteenth for many years. "Bush agrees with the national media that Juneteenth is not important by remaining silent and not addressing the nation on Juneteenth. He has never said a public word in acknowledgement of America's 2nd Independence Day in over six years in office."
Myers hopes that the Senate's actions this week will finally lead to the issuing of a Presidential Proclamation by President Bush, finally establishing Juneteenth as an official day of observance in America, like Flag Day, and placed respectfully on all calendars.
"The US Capitol and the White House were built through the uncompensated labor of the ancestors of Americans of African descent during the tyranny of slavery," states Rev., Dr. Myers. "Why won't President Bush personally recognize and honor their sacrifice and contributions in building key institutions in America during Juneteenth?"
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 to provide advice on how the annual observance of Juneteenth Independence Day can promote racial reconciliation and bring all Americans together through the celebration of our common bond of freedom.
"America needs healing from the legacy of slavery," states Rev., Dr. Myers, also Founder & Chairman of the National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC), sponsors of the annual National Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Slavery and the National Juneteenth Black Holocaust "Maafa" Memorial Service in Washington, DC. "We were encouraged by the Senate Apology for Lynching last year, but we never received an official apology for slavery. We pray that President Bush will lead the nation toward healing and issue a proclamation recognizing Juneteenth Independence Day in America."
For information on the annual WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance and the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign call Dr. Myers at 202-331-8864, 662-247-1471, 662-247-3364; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, web sites: www.Juneteenth.us, www.njclc.com and www.19thofJune.com.