National Juneteenth Observance Foundation
                         Celebration of Freedom

                         

Maine

PRESS RELEASE

Maine 38th State to Recognize Juneteenth 

www.NationalJuneteenth.com

For Immediate Release (5/2/11)

  
Contact: Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D., 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
  
  
Maine Becomes the 38th State to Recognize Juneteenth
  
Reps. Denise & Charles Harlow Make Juneteenth Legislative History
  
Myers Urges President Obama to Establish
Juneteenth as a National Day of Observance
  
Ron Myers photo of Representative Harlow  Obama
      Rev. Ron Myers          Rep. Denise Harlow        Prsesident Obama
 
  
(Augusta, MA) - Recent legislation signed by  Governor Paul LePage not only establishes Maine as the 38th state to recognize Juneteenth as a state holiday or state holiday observance, but is the first father-daughter Juneteenth legislative enactment in history.

Last year, former State Representative Charles W. Harlow sponsored HP1290, a Joint Resolution in Support of the Annual WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance. This year, his daughter, State Representative Denise Harlow, sponsored HB560, making Juneteenth a State Holiday Observance in Maine.

"Maine is the only state where consecutive year legislation has encompassed the entire scope of our national and state legislative goals," states Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr. M.D., Founder & Chairman of the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign and the National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF)
"We are very hopeful that Maine U.S. Senators Collins and Snowe will follow the state legislative lead and sponsor legislation in Congress to make Juneteenth a National Holiday Observance, like Flag Day or Patriot Day."
  

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.

  

Maine joins Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, Delaware, Alaska, Idaho, Iowa, California,  Wyoming, llinois, 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, Mississippi, Georgia and the District of Columbia, as well as the U.S. Congress in recognizing the end of enslavement in America.

 

Myers continues to urge President Obama to make Juneteenth a National Holiday Observance as a completion to the commitment which began with his U.S. Senate sponsorship of S.Con Res 42, during the 109th Congress, in 2006. Senator Obama called for 'Recognizing the historical significance of Juneteenth Independence Day, and expressing the sense of Congress that history should be regarded as a means for understanding the past and solving the challenges of the future.'

Thousands of petitions have been forwarded to the White House from citizens across this country calling for the establishment of Juneteenth Independence Day as our second Independence Day.

"We continue to urge President Obama to support a National Juneteenth Holiday Observance Bill, already endorsed with legislation passed by nearly 40 states," states 
Rev. Myers, Founder & Chairman of the National Juneteenth Christian Leadership Council (NJCLC) and the National Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement. "America needs healing from the legacy of enslavement. A national day of observance through Juneteenth and the National Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement are significant to the process of healing our nation."

For information on the National Day of Reconciliation and Healing From the Legacy of Enslavement, the WASHINGTON JUNETEENTH National Holiday Observance and the National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign, contact Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D. at 662-247-3364, 662-247-1471, or e-mail: JuneteenthDOC@yahoo.com or web site: www.NationalJuneteenth.com.
 

________________________________________________

 

An Act To Establish Juneteenth Independence Day

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1.  1 MRSA §150-F  is enacted to read:

§ 150-F. Juneteenth Independence Day

The Governor shall annually issue a proclamation designating the 3rd Saturday in June as Juneteenth Independence Day to commemorate the day freedom was proclaimed to all slaves in the South by Union General Gordon Granger in 1865, 2 1/2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.

 

SUMMARY

This bill establishes the 3rd Saturday in June as Juneteenth Independence Day to commemorate the day freedom was proclaimed to all slaves in the South.

 

____________________________________________________

 

 

109th CONGRESS

2d Session

 

S. RES. 516

Recognizing the historical significance of Juneteenth Independence Day and expressing the sense of the Senate that history should be regarded as a means for understanding the past and solving the challenges of the future.

 

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

June 19, 2006

 

Mr. OBAMA (for himself, Mr. FRIST, Mr. LEVIN, Mr. REID, and Mr. BROWNBACK) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to

 


 

RESOLUTION

 

Recognizing the historical significance of Juneteenth Independence Day and expressing the sense of the Senate that history should be regarded as a means for understanding the past and solving the challenges of the future.

 

Whereas news of the end of slavery did not reach frontier areas of the United States, and in particular the Southwestern States, for more than 2 years after President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation of January 1, 1863, and months after the conclusion of the Civil War;

 

Whereas on June 19, 1865, Union soldiers led by Major General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War had ended and that the enslaved were free;

 

Whereas African Americans who had been slaves in the Southwest celebrated June 19, commonly known as `Juneteenth Independence Day', as the anniversary of their emancipation;

 

Whereas African Americans from the Southwest continue the tradition of Juneteenth Independence Day as inspiration and encouragement for future generations;

 

Whereas, for more than 135 years, Juneteenth Independence Day celebrations have been held to honor African American freedom while encouraging self-development and respect for all cultures;

 

Whereas, although Juneteenth Independence Day is beginning to be recognized as a national, and even global, event, the history behind the celebration should not be forgotten; and

 

Whereas the faith and strength of character demonstrated by former slaves remains an example for all people of the United States, regardless of background, religion, or race: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That--

(1) the Senate--

(A) recognizes the historical significance of Juneteenth Independence Day to the Nation;

(B) supports the continued celebration of Juneteenth Independence Day to provide an opportunity for the people of the United States to learn more about the past and to understand better the experiences that have shaped the Nation; and

(C) encourages the people of the United States to observe Juneteenth Independence Day with appropriate ceremonies, activities, and programs; and

(2) it is the sense of the Senate that--

(A) history should be regarded as a means for understanding the past and solving the challenges of the future; and

(B) the celebration of the end of slavery is an important and enriching part of the history and heritage of the United States.