19th of June

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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (5/13/09)

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: JuneteenthDOC@yahoo.com
             web sites: www.19thofJune.com
                                  www.Juneteenth.us
                                  www.njclc.com


             John Thompson, Executive Director
             National Association of Juneteenth Jazz Presenters (NAJJP)
                JuneteenthAmerica, Inc.

             909-621-9707
             e-mail: johnharold@juneteenthamerica.us
             web sites: www.JuneteenthJazz.com
                                  www.JuneteenthAmerica.us


             Sonny Scoggins, Director
             Kansas Juneteenth Committee
                National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF)

             785-232-3761
             e-mail: biasbustersofkansas@yahoo.com



David Haley        Ron Myers
Sen. David Haley            Dr. Ronald Myers



Kansas Becomes the 31st State to Recognize Juneteenth as a State Holiday

Sen. David Haley Champions Kansas Juneteenth Legislation



(Topeka, KS) - Kansas is now the 31st state to recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday or state holiday observance. The Kansas State Senate passed S.R. 1888, sponsored by State Senator David Haley, recognizing the annual observance of Juneteenth Day in the state.

"Kansas 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, Nebraska 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. David Haley, the great nephew of "Roots" author Alex Haley, for sponsoring legislation that has made all of this possible," states Sonny Scoggins, longtime Kansas community activist.

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 H. 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 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 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 Kansas 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 slavery 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 Juneteenth 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: JuneteenthDOC@yahoo.com or web sites: www.Juneteenth.us and www.19thofJune.com. Also contact Kansas Juneteenth Director, Sonny Scogins at 785-232-3761 or e-mail: biasbustersofkansas@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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