National Juneteenth Observance Foundation
                         Celebration of Freedom

                         

Mississippi

PRESS RELEASE

Mississippi Now the 36th State to Recognize Juneteenth
www.NationalJuneteenth.com


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE (3/25/10)


Contact: Rev.. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M..D., Founder & Chairman
              National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign
              National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF)
              National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC)
              National Association of Juneteenth Jazz Presenters (NAJJP)
              662-247-3364    662-247-1471
              e-mail: JuneteenthDOC@yahoo.com
              web site: www.NationalJuneteenth.com
                            www.19thofJune.com 
                            www.Juneteenth.us
                            www.JuneteenthJazz.com 
                            www.njclc.com

                          

 

Mississippi Now the 36th State to Recognize Juneteenth

 

Mississippi's Rev. Dr. Ronald Myers Glad for State Acknowledgement of Juneteenth

 

Sen. Willie Simmons Champions Juneteenth Legislation in Mississippi 





(Jackson, MS) - National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign Chairman and Belzoni, Mississippi resident,Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., was glad to hear the news about the passage of S.C.R. 605 by the  Mississippi Legislature to recognize the "19th of June" as Juneteenth Freedom Day. The Magnolia State is now the 36th state to celebrate the    of end end of end of enslavement in America


"Mississippi 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, Massachusetts, North Carolina, West Virginia, South Carolina, Vermont, Nebraska, Ohio, Kansas, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Indiana and the District of Columbia in recognizing the end of enslavement in America," states Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., Founder & Chairman of the National Juneteeenth Observance Foundation (NJOF).

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.

 

Throughout recent years, Juneteenth has been celebrated in cities and towns across Mississippi, including Jackson, Greenville, Greenwood, Hattiesburg, Belzoni, Cleveland, Meridian, Vicksburg, Tchula, Columbus, Gulfport, Natchez, Biloxi, Brandon, Louisville, McComb, Holly Springs, D'Iberville, Waynesboro, Tupelo and other communities.  


"We especially appreciate Senator Willie Simmons for sponsoring the legislation that has made all of this possible," states Dr. Myers. "We also want to thank Rep. Rufus Straughter and Rep. Bryant Clark for their persistent efforts in supporting Juneteenth at the state capitol."

 

Now that Juneteenth is recognized in Mississippi, Juneteenth supporters hope Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) and Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) will co-sponsor legislation in the U.S. Senate to make Juneteenth Independence Day a National Day of Observance through legislation that will be introduced by Sen. Roland Burris (D-IL) in April of 2010.

 

In a recent letter to Rev. Myers, concerning S.R. 19, introduced in the U.S. Senate in 2009, Sen Thad Cochran states, "I appreciate the information regarding the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation. Senator Burris' resolution seeking recognition and support of a National Juneteenth Observance day unanimously passed in the Senate." Rev. Myers is hopeful that congress will pass similiar legislation this year to place Juneteenth on all calendars.


"We are not asking for a paid federal holiday, which will be a burden on tax-payers, but a National Day of Observance like Flag Day or Patriot Day," states Dr. Myers. "As more states like Mississippi pass Juneteenth legislation, with only fourteen states remaining, we hope that President Barack Obama and the U.S. Congress will finally establish a day for the observance and celebration of the end of slavery in America."

 

Thousands of petitions have been forwarded to the White House urging President Obama to make Juneteenth a National Day of Observance and to establish a Presidential National Juneteenth Commission to provide advice on how the annual observance of Juneteenth Independence Day can bring all Americans together with the goal of promoting greater understanding and racial healing. A similar petition drive was successful in getting the USPS to

issue a Juneteenth "Flags of Freedom" postage stamp in 2012.

"The official recognition of Juneteenth Independence Day and the end of enslavement by state governments and the U.S. congress are very significant steps in bringing healing to America from the legacy of enslavement," states Rev. Dr. Myers, also Founder & Chairman of the National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC), the National Day  Reconciliation & Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement and the annual WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance.

For information on the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign, the National Day of Reconciliation & Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement, the WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance, and Juneteenth Celebrations in Mississippi, contact Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D. at 662-247-3364 or e-mail: JuneteenthDOC@yahoo.com or web sites: www.NationalJuneteenth.com, www.Juneteenth.us, www.19thofJune.com and www.njclc.com





MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE REGULAR SESSION 2010

 

By: Senator Willie Simmons

 

SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION NO. 605

 

A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION RECOGNIZING JUNE 19 AS "JUNETEENTH

FREEDOM DAY."

 

 

      WHEREAS, the date of June 19 is known as "Juneteenth," and it is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States; and

 

      WHEREAS, the commemoration of June 19th as Juneteenth specifically refers to the fact that, even though President Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, the joyous news of freedom from slavery did not reach certain Americans in Galveston, Texas, until June 19, 1865; and

 

      WHEREAS, Juneteenth commemorates freedom from slavery in America, emphasizes education and achievement, and is a time for reflection and rejoicing in the African-American experience; and

 

      WHEREAS, the celebration of Juneteenth is inclusive of all races, ethnicities, religions and nationalities, in that citizens across our country join hands in acknowledging a period in our history that has influenced our society--a great society that advances the ideals of liberty and justice for all;

 

      NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby recognize June 19 as "Juneteenth Freedom Day" in recognition and commemoration of June 19, 1865, as the date of the communication to former slaves of African descent of the fact that

slavery had ended in America, and as a day when the ideals of liberty and justice for all citizens is celebrated. We acknowledge that this day is a day of commemoration, recognition acknowledge that this day is a day of commemoration, recognition and observation and not to be recognized as a legal holiday.

 

      BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED That this resolution be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.




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Delta Democrat Times Newspaper
"Myers' efforts are paying off"
Editorial Department   January 24, 2007
Greenville, MS


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MISSISSIPPI LEGISLATURE

2007 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Representative Clark, Straughter, Scott, Fleming, Hines

House Bill 1220

AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 3-3-7, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO DESIGNATE JUNE 19 AS "JUNETEENTH FREEDOM DAY"; TO SPECIFICALLY PROVIDE THAT THIS SHALL BE A DAY OF COMMEMORATION AND NOT A LEGAL HOLIDAY; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES. 


     WHEREAS, the date of June 19 is known as "Juneteenth," and it is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States; and

     WHEREAS, the commemoration of June 19th as Juneteenth specifically refers to the fact that, even though President Lincoln announced the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, the joyous news of freedom from slavery did not reach certain Americans in Galveston, Texas, until June 19, 1865; and

     WHEREAS, Juneteenth commemorates freedom from slavery in America, emphasizes education and achievement, and is a time for reflection and rejoicing in the African American experience; and

     WHEREAS, the celebration of Juneteenth is inclusive of all races, ethnicities, religions and nationalities, in that citizens across our country join hands in acknowledging a period in our history that has influenced our society--a great society that advances the ideals of liberty and justice for all; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI

SECTION 1.
  Section 3-3-7, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:

     3-3-7.  (1)  Except as otherwise provided in subsection (2) of this section, the following are declared to be legal holidays, viz:  the first day of January (New Year's Day); the third Monday of January (Robert E. Lee's birthday and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday); the third Monday of February (Washington's birthday); the last Monday of April (Confederate Memorial Day); the last Monday of May (National Memorial Day and Jefferson Davis' birthday); the fourth day of July (Independence Day); the first Monday of September (Labor Day); the eleventh day of November (Armistice or Veterans' Day); the day fixed by proclamation by the Governor of Mississippi as a day of Thanksgiving, which shall be fixed to correspond to the date proclaimed by the President of the United States (Thanksgiving Day); and the twenty-fifth day of December (Christmas Day).  In the event any holiday hereinbefore declared legal shall fall on Sunday, then the next following day shall be a legal holiday.

     (2)  In lieu of any one (1) legal holiday provided for in subsection (1) of this section, with the exception of the third Monday in January (Robert E. Lee's and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday), the governing authorities of any municipality or county may declare, by order spread upon its minutes, Mardi Gras Day or any one (1) other day during the year, to be a legal holiday.

     (3)  The following are not legal holidays for purposes of this section, and the commemoration, recognition or observation of such days does not authorize any state or local governmental entity or political subdivision to consider, recognize or declare such days as legal holidays:

          (a)  August 16 is declared to be Elvis Aaron Presley Day in recognition and appreciation of Elvis Aaron Presley's many contributions, international recognition and the rich legacy left to us by Elvis Aaron Presley.  This day shall be a day of recognition and observation and shall not be recognized as a legal holiday.

          (b)  May 8 is declared to be Hernando De Soto Day in recognition, observation and commemoration of Hernando De Soto, who led the first and most imposing expedition ever made by Europeans into the wilds of North America and the State of Mississippi, and in further recognition of the Spanish explorer's 187-day journey from the Tombigbee River basin on our state's eastern boundary, westward to the place of discovery of the Mississippi River on May 8, 1541.  This day shall be a day of commemoration, recognition and observation of Hernando De Soto and European exploration and shall not be recognized as a legal holiday.

          (c)  June 19 is declared to be Juneteenth Freedom Day in recognition and commemoration of June 19, 1865, as the date of the  communication to former slaves of African descent of the fact that slavery had ended in America, and as a day when the ideals of liberty and justice for all citizens is celebrated.  This day shall be a day of commemoration, recognition and observation and shall not be recognized as a legal holiday.

     (4)  Insofar as possible, Armistice Day shall be observed by appropriate exercises in all the public schools in the State of Mississippi at the eleventh hour in the morning of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year.

SECTION 2.  This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.