FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (6/15/07)
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
Ralph F. Browne, Jr., Director
Massachusetts Juneteenth Holiday Campaign
National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF)
Governor Deval Patrick Rep. Gloria L. Fox
Massachusetts to Become the 25th State to
Recognize Juneteenth as a State Holiday
Rep. Gloria Fox Champions
Massachusetts Juneteenth State Holiday Bill
(Boston, MA) - State Representative Gloria L. Fox announced today that legislation she filed this year, H3194, "An Act Recognizing June 19th as Juneteenth Independence Day" was passed by both the House and Senate Chambers this week. The legislation will be signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick at the Annual Roxbury Home Coming Celebration this Saturday, June 16th in Franklin Park, in Boston, Massachusetts. This will make Massachusetts the 25th state to recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday or state holiday observance.
"Massachusetts joins 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 and the District of Columbia in recognizing the end of slavery in America," states Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Chairman of the National Juneteeenth Holiday Campaign.
"We especially appreciate the efforts of Rep. Gloria L. Fox for introducing H3194, the legislation that has made all of this possible," states Ralph F. Browne, Jr., Massachusetts Co-Director of the National Junteenth Holiday Campaign. "This important celebration of the end of slavery in America will soon be officially recognized by Massachusetts."
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 11 and House Joint Resolution 56 in 1997. The House of Representatives passed House Concurrent Resolution 161 in 2005 urging President Bush to establish Juneteenth Independence Day, as a National Holiday Observance 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 Massachusetts pass Juneteenth holiday bills, we hope that President George Bush will finally establish Juneteenth as a National Holiday Observance by issuing a Presidential Proclamation."
Many more states including Vermont, Kansas, Georgia, Maryland, South Dakota, Mississippi, Montana and Wisconsin are contemplating legislation to establish Juneteenth as a state holiday.
"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 Bush 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 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 annual National Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Slavery and the annual National Juneteenth Black Holocaust "MAAFA" Memorial Service in Washington, DC.
"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 Dr. Myers. "We are especially appreciative of the Governor and the state legislature for passing legislation to recognize Juneteenth in Washington."
For information on the National Juneteenth Black Holocaust "Maafa" Memorial Service, the National Day of Reconciliation and Healing from the Legacy of Slavery, the annual WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance and the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign, contact Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D. at 662-247-3364, 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 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.