19th of June

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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (4/7/09)

Contact: Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Chairman
             National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign
                National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF)
                National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC)

             662-247-3364    662-247-1471
             e-mail: MyersFound@aol.com
             web sites: www.19thofJune.com     www.Juneteenth.us      www.njclc.com

             John Thompson, Executive Producer
             National Association of Juneteenth Jazz Presenters (NAJJP)
             Juneteenth America, Inc.
             909-621-9707
             e-mail: johnharold@juneteenthamerica.us
             web sites: www.JuneteenthJazz.com     www.JuneteenthAmerica.us

             Ms. Willie Williams, Director
             Juneteenth Nebraska, Inc.
             402-594-6695
             e-mail: coalitionminorityparents@yahoo.com
             web site: www.JuneteenthNebraska.com


Nebraska Becomes the 30th State to Recognize Juneteenth as a State Holiday

Sen. Brenda Council Champions Nebraska Juneteenth Legislation



(Omaha, NB) - Nebraska is now the 30th state to recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday or state holiday observance. The Nebraska State Senate passed L.R. 75, sponsored by State Senator Brenda Council, establishing the "19th of June", as "Juneteenth National Freedom Day" in the state.

"Nebraska will join Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Delaware, Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, California, Wyoming, Illinois, Missouri, Connecticut, Louisiana, New Jersey, New York, Colorado, Arkansas, Oregon, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, Virginia, Washington State, Tennessee, Massachusetts, North Carolina, West Virginia, South Carolina, Vermont and the District of Columbia in recognizing the end of enslavement in America," states Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Chairman of the National Juneteeenth Holiday Campaign.

"We especially appreciate the efforts of State Sen. Brenda Council for sponsoring legislation that has made all of this possible," states Ms. Willie Williams, Director of Juneteenth Nebraska, Inc.

Juneteenth, or the "19th of June", was first recognized by the Congress of the United States as Juneteenth Independence Day through the passage of S.J.R. 11 and H.J.R. 56 in 1997. Most recently, the U.S. Senate passed S. Res. 584 and the House of Representatives passed House Con. Res. 1237 in 2008, recognizing the significance of Juneteenth in America.

Juneteenth commemorates the day when slaves in the last geographic area in America where enslavement 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 signed by President Abraham Lincoln on September 22, 1862, and issued on January 1, 1863. It took over two and a half years for the news to travel to southwest Texas.

"This is another significant development in our campaign to establish Juneteenth as a National Holiday," states Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Chairman of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF). "As more states like Nebraska pass Juneteenth legislation, we hope that President Barack Obama will finally establish Juneteenth as a National Holiday Observance by issuing a Presidential Proclamation."

"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 annual National Juneteenth Convention and Expo, in Ontario, California. "Juneteenth brings all Americans together to celebrate the end of enslavement and freedom," continues Thompson. "Juneteenth is America's 2nd Independence Day."

Thousands of petitions have been forwarded to the White House urging President Obama to make a National Holiday Observance and to establish a Presidential National Juneteenth Commission. "The official recognition of Juneteenth Independence Day and the end of enslavement by state governments and congress are very significant steps in bringing healing to America from the legacy of enslavement," states Rev., Dr. Myers, also Chairman of the National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC).

For information on the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign, contact Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D. at 662-247-3364 or e-mail: MyersFound@aol.com or web sites: www.Juneteenth.us and www.19thofJune.com. Also contact Nebraska Juneteenth Director Ms. Willie Wiliams at 402-594-6695 or e-mail: coalitionminorityparents@yahoo.com.

For information about the annual National Juneteenth Convention and Expo, contact John Thompson at 909-621-9707 or e-mail: johnharold@juneteenthamerica.us or web site: www.JuneteenthAmerica.us.

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