National Juneteenth Observance Foundation
                         Celebration of Freedom

                         

Idaho
Idaho recognize Juneteenth as a State Holiday or State Holiday Observance through a Bill, House Resolution, Senate Resolution or Joint ResolutionState

State Senator Robbi King-Barrutia - (*contact Idaho Juneteenth State Director,
  Joe B. McNeil - 208-587-3227)(passed 2001)
________________________________________________________________________________
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (2/25/02)

Contact: Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Founder & Chairman
             National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF)
             662-247-1471
             202-331-8864
             e-mail: MyersFound@aol.com
             web sites: www.19thofjune.com



                                                      NATIONAL JUNETEENTH HOLIDAY CAMPAIGN CHAIRMAN
                                                               MEETS IDAHO GOVERNOR DIRK KEMPTHORNE






(Mountain Home, ID) - Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Chairman of the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign, met with Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne during the historic 14th Annual Mountain Home Black History Month Celebration. Idaho became the 5th state to recognize Juneteenth as a State Holiday in 2001.

"Idaho has become an example to the nation in recognizing diversity and the contributions black Americans have made to the nation," states Dr. Myers. "I commend Governor Kempthorne and State Senator Robbi King-Barrutia for their leadership in establishing Juneteenth as a State Holiday in Idaho. America needs more of what Idaho has achieved in the area of cultural diversity."

Joel McNeal, Idaho Juneteenth State Director and President of the Boise-Ada-Elmore Branch of the NAACP considers Idaho's accomplishments one of America's brightest achievements. "For Idaho to embrace the historical and cultural diversity of black Americans in a state where the overwhelming majority of the population is not black is a shining example to the rest of America," states McNeal, the first black American to serve in the Idaho State Legislature as both state representative and state senator. "Black History Month is a celebration of the contributions black Americans have made to Idaho and throughout America."

During a recent meeting at the White House to encourage President Bush to participate in the WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH 2002 National Holiday Observance, June 13-19, 2002, Dr. Myers made reference to the recognition of Juneteenth as a state holiday in Idaho. "I hope that Governor Kempthorne's example will be of encouragement to President Bush to recognize Juneteenth as a National Holiday through an executive order," states Dr. Myers.

"I also asked the President to address the nation during Juneteenth, appoint a Presidential National Juneteenth Commission, host a White House Juneteenth ceremony and support the 3rd Annual National Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Slavery National by participating in the 1st Annual National Juneteenth Black Holocaust Memorial Service at the Lincoln Memorial," continues Dr. Myers. "I hope that President Bush will take the opportunity through the recognition of Juneteenth, following the tragic events of September 11th, to lead the nation toward unity, reconciliation and healing from the legacy of slavery in America."

For information on the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign and WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH 2002, contact Dr. Myers at 662-247-1471 or visit the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign web site at www.19thofJune.com.______________________________________________________________________________
Idaho Governor Kempthorne Signs Juneteenth State Holiday Bill

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (2/28/00)

Contact: Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Chairman
National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF)
662-247-1471
e-mail: MyersFound@aol.com
web sites: www.19thofJune.com
www.JuneteenthShoppingMall.com

Joel B. McNeal
NJOF Idaho State Coordinator
208-587-3227

"Idaho Governor Kempthorne signs Juneteenth State Holiday Bill at the end of Black History Month"

(Boise, Idaho) - Idaho Governor Dirk Kempthorne signs historic legislation establishing Juneteenth as a state holiday during a signing ceremony on Wednesday, February 28, 2001, in Boise, Idaho, celebrating the end of Black History Month. "Idaho now joins Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Delaware and soon Alaska in recognizing the end of slavery in America," states Joel B. McNeal, Idaho State Coordinator for the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF). "We especially appreciate the efforts of State Senator Robbi King-Barrutia and the Mountain Home Community Black History Committee in making this historic legislation a reality during Black History Month."

Juneteenth, or the "19th of June", was recognized as America's 2nd Independence Day by the Congress of the United States through the passage of Senate Joint Resolution 56 and House Joint Resolution 11 in 1997. Thousands are anticipated to return to the nation's capitol for a WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH 2001 National Holiday Observance, June 15-19, 2001, at the Lincoln Memorial, National Mall and US Capitol Grounds to urge President Bush to establish Juneteenth as a National Holiday.

Juneteenth commemorates the day when the last group of slaves in America learned of their freedom on June 19, 1865, in Galveston, Texas. It was then that Union General Gordon Granger announced that the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln 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 in America," states Rev., Dr. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Chairman of the NJOF. "As more states like Idaho pass Juneteenth holiday bills, we anticipate that President George Bush will finally establish Juneteenth as a national holiday by issuing a Presidential Proclamation on the "19th of June" during our WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH 2001 National Holiday Observance."

Many more states including California, Oregon, South Dakota, Louisiana, Iowa, Illinois, Mississippi, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Montana, Wisconsin, Maryland, Virginia and New Jersey 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 4th National Juneteenth Convention and Expo, August 17-19, 2001, in Ontario, California. "Juneteenth brings all Americans together to celebrate the end of slavery and freedom."

Thousands of petitions have been forwarded to the White House urging President Bush to make Juneteenth a National Holiday and to establish a National Juneteenth Commission. "The official recognition of Juneteenth Independence Day and the end of slavery by state governments and the congress are very significant steps in bringing healing in America from the devastation of slavery," states Rev., Dr. Myers, also Chairman of the National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC), sponsors of the 2nd Annual National Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Slavery, on the "19th of June", 2001, in Washington, DC.

"During our historic WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH 2000 National Holiday Observance, House Joint Resolution 356, a formal apology for slavery, was introduced by Congressman Tony Hall (D-Ohio)." states Dr. Myers. "We are gathering at the nation's capitol again to support Congressman Hall and urge President Bush to establish a National Juneteenth Commission to advise him and future Presidents on how the annual observance of Juneteenth Independence Day can bring all Americans together with the goal of promoting greater understanding and racial healing."