Missouri recognizes Juneteenth as a State Holiday or State Holiday
Observance through a Bill, House Resolution, Senate Resolution or Joint
Rep. Juanita Walton - 573-751-5538 (passed 2003)
St. Louis American, June 21, 2007
Maurice Meredith, photographer
PUSH FOR NATIONAL JUNETEENTH INDEPENDENCE DAY
Randall Cahill; the Rev. Ronald V. Myers, chairman of the National Juneteenth
Observance Foundation: local pastor Jimi Gwynn; Curtis Faulkner, president of
the local Juneteenth Heritage & Jazz Festival; and Bobbie Guy met Monday in
front of the Old Court House stating their case for a national oberservance
of Juneteenth. U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill has joined on as co-sponsor of
a resolution calling for the observance.
National Newspapers Publishers Association (NNPA)
More funds sought for Juneteenth
St. Louis Dispatch
St. Louis, Mossouri
Monday, June 19, 2007
By By Tim O'Neil
(St. Louis, Missouri) - National and local organizers of Juneteenth
events stood before the Old Courthouse on Monday to argue for more
financial support from Missouri for commemorations of slavery's end in
the United States.
"There seems to be a lack of support from the governor and
Legislature," said the Rev. Dr. Ronald Myers, director of the National
Juneteenth Observation Foundation in Washington.
Myers, of Belzoni, Miss., and St. Louis organizers urged Gov.
Matt Blunt and the Missouri Arts Council to pledge money for Juneteenth
events. They also urged Blunt to make appointments to a Juneteenth
advisory board that former Gov. Bob Holden created in 2004 but which
has not been filled by either governor.
Randall C. Cahill, a lawyer in St. Louis, and Curtis Faulkner,
director of the Missouri Juneteenth Heritage and Jazz Festival,
criticized the Arts Council for a lack of black members. A council
spokeswoman confirmed that its 15-member board has had no black member
since Gregory Glore of Kansas City, a Blunt appointee, left the board
earlier this year.
Juneteenth is the name for June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers
reached Galveston, Texas, with news of the Emancipation Proclamation
and the war's end. Because many former Galveston slaves weren't sure of
the date, the nickname became "Juneteenth," a term used for observances
of the actual end of slavery.
The American Confederacy in effect ended with Gen. Robert E.
Lee's surrender to Gen. U.S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Va., on
April 9, 1865, but there were skirmishes for another several weeks. The
13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolishing slavery was ratified
by the states the following Dec. 6.
Jessica Robinson, spokeswoman for Blunt, said the governor is
seeking nominations for appointments to the Juneteenth advisory board
and to the Arts Council.
That council has $5.6 million for the budget year beginning
July 1 to make grants for artistic and cultural projects and events.
Faulkner tried without success this year to win legislative support for
giving Juneteenth a guaranteed amount of the state tax on entertainers
and professional athletes that finances the council's budget.
"With all the taxes paid by black entertainers and athletes,
it's only right that black cultural heritage should get its fair
share," Faulkner said.
Beverly Strohmeyer, arts council director, said its board
opposed Faulkner's plan because it would have dedicated $2 million
annually to one program. She said the Juneteenth festival did not apply
this year for a council grant.
Juneteeth events are held regularly in St. Louis, including a
sports festival in Fairground Park and a gospel-singing gathering at
Fountain Park, both this past weekend. No public events are scheduled
for today. Faulkner said regular funding would allow for more events.