National Juneteenth Observance Foundation
                         Celebration of Freedom

                         

Missouri
Missouri recognizes Juneteenth as a State Holiday or State Holiday Observance through a Bill, House Resolution, Senate Resolution or Joint Resolution

Rep. Juanita Walton - 573-751-5538 (passed 2003)


St. Louis American, June 21, 2007

St. Louis Press Conference
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.
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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.