FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (4/15/02)
Contact: Patricia Deans, Director
New York Juneteenth Holiday Campaign
Brownsville Heritage House
Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., National Chairman
National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign
National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF)
National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC)
web sites: www.19thofjune.com
NEW YORK JUNETEENTH HOLIDAY BILL HEADED TO ALBANY
(New York, NY) - New York may become the next state to recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday. Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Chairman of the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign, was in New York this weekend to rally support to make Juneteenth a holiday in all fifty states. This campaign is not advocating for Juneteenth to become a paid state or federal holiday, but as a National Holiday Observance, similar to Flag Day.
"State Senator John L. Sampson (D-NY) has agreed to introduce legislation to make Juneteenth a state holiday in New York," states Patricia Deans, Director of the New York Juneteenth Holiday Campaign. "We have been celebrating Juneteenth in Brooklyn at the Brownsville Heritage House since 1998. It is exciting to see Juneteenth grow in popularity and support as America's 2nd Independence Day celebration."
Senate Resolution 2202, sponsored by Senator Sampson, on June 5, 2001, urged Governor George Pataki to proclaim the "19th of June" as Juneteenth Freedom Day in the state of New York. It will soon be followed by legislation by Senator Sampson to establish Juneteenth as a state holiday.
"Hopefully, New York will become the 8th state to recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday, following Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Delaware. Alaska, Idaho and most recently, Iowa," states Dr. Myers. "Efforts are continuing to establish Juneteenth as a National Holiday in America," continues Dr. Myers. "The congress of the United States passed a historic resolution, in 1997, recognizing Juneteenth Independence Day in America."
Juneteenth, or the "19th of June", recognizes June19, 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 signed and enforced 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.
"We are collecting 1 million signatures on petitions urging President Bush to issue a Presidential Proclamation to establish Juneteenth as a National Holiday Observance," states Dr. Myers. "As the former Governor of Texas, where Juneteenth began as a paid state holiday in 1980, President Bush should understand the historic opportunity Juneteenth represents to bring all Americans together to promote greater understanding of freedom, racial reconciliation and healing."
For information on the New York Juneteenth Holiday Campaign contact Patricia Deans of the Brownsville Heritage House at 718-385-1111, e-mail: email@example.com. For information on the WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH 2002 National Holiday Observance and the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign call Dr. Myers at 202-331-8864, 662-247-1471, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, web sites: www.19thofJune.com, www.njclc.com or www.njof.org. For information on the 5th Annual National Juneteenth Convention and Expo contact John Thompson of Juneteenth America, Inc. at 909-988-5810, e-mail: email@example.com, web site: www.juneteenthconvention.com.