19th of June

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PRESS RELEASE - National Juneteenth Press Conference


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (3/19/01)

Contact: Yolanda Dean, Director
Jacksonville Juneteenth Celebration
904-655-6407
e-mail: yoyo1966@aol.com

Patrina Pace
Jacksonville Juneteenth Celebration
904-565-2608
e-mail: juneteenthnjaxfl@aol.com

Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Chairman
National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF)
National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC)
662-247-1471
662-247-3364
e-mail: MyersFound@aol.com

THE NATIONAL JUNETEENTH HOLIDAY CAMPAIGN COMES TO FLORIDA

(Jacksonville, FL) - The Jacksonville Juneteenth Celebration Committee will be hosting a Press Conference at 11:00am, followed by a Ministerial Luncheon at 12:00noon, at the Jacksonville Fair Grounds, 510 Fairgrounds Place, on Saturday, March 24, 2001, in Jacksonville, FL. The Reverend Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Chairman of the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF) and the National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC) will be present to announce plans for a WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH 2001 National Holiday Observance, at the Lincoln Memorial, National Mall and US Capitol Grounds, June 15-19, 2001, in Washington, DC. The 2nd Annual National Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Slavery will also take place on Tuesday, the "19th of June" in Washington, DC, where supporters will urge Congress and President Bush to support the efforts of Congressman Tony Hall (D-OH) for the country to officially apologize for slavery.

"We have requested President Bush to issue a Presidential Proclamation establishing Juneteenth Independence Day, the "19th of June"," as a National Holiday," states Rev., Dr. Myers. "Congress passed a historic resolution in 1997 recognizing Juneteenth Independence Day in America through Senate Joint Resolution 11 and House Joint Resolution 56. A Presidential Proclamation is all that is needed for Juneteenth to be recognized on all calendars as a National Holiday Observance, like Flag Day, without the need for a paid federal holiday."

Juneteenth Independence Day is recognized as a Statewide Observance in Florida through legislation authored by former State Representative Alzo Reddick in 1991. Other states that recognize the end of slavery in America through Juneteenth, when Union General Gordon Granger landed in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865, announcing to the last group of slaves in America that they were free include Texas, Oklahoma, Delaware, Idaho and soon Alaska. Many more states including Maryland, Virginia, New York, California, Illinois, New Mexico, Ohio, Connecticut, Tennessee, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Indiana, Rhode Island, North Carolina, South Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Alabama, Mississippi and Montana have recognized Juneteenth Independence Day through legislative resolutions and the future introduction and passage of Juneteenth State Holiday Bill legislation.

"It took over two and a half years for the news of freedom to come to Texas through the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation by President Abraham Lincoln," states Dr. Myers. "I hope that is doesn't take Governor Jeb Bush another year to restore funding that he vetoed in 1999 for the people of Florida to observe Juneteenth throughout the state." In a recent letter to Governor Bush, Dr. Myers urged Governor Bush to support funding for Juneteenth in the Florida budget. "Juneteenth is a Statewide Observance in Florida we hope that Governor Bush will be more supportive of the recognition of the end of slavery in America," states Dr. Myers.

Businessman Lloyd Moore, Chairman of the National Juneteenth Farming & World Trade Commission, Former State Representative Alzo Reddick, Chairman of the National Juneteenth Education Commission and NJOF Florida Juneteenth State Coordinator, Jeannie Blue, Director of the St. Petersburg Juneteenth Family Festival, will also be in attendance at the Press Conference.

For information on the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign and the NJOF contact Dr. Myers at 662-247-1471, e-mail: MyersFound@aol.com, web sites:

www.19thofJune.com or www.JuneteenthShoppingMall.com, or contact Yolanda Dean, Director of the Jacksonville Juneteenth Celebration, at 904-655-6407 or 904-565-2608, e-mail: yoyo1966@aol.com.

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