(Washington, DC) - 2016 marks the eighth year that President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama became the first African Americans to occupy the
White House. During that span of time, there has been no personal acknowledgement of
Juneteenth at the
The White House was built in part by Americans of African descent during the tyranny of enslavement.
Juneteenth, or the
"19th of June," recognizes June 19, 1865, in Galveston, TX, when Union General Gordon Granger proclaimed freedom for all slaves in the Southwest. Texas was the last state in rebellion to allow slavery following the end of the
Civil War. This occurred more than two and a half years after the
Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln. Upon the issuing of
General Order #3 by General Granger, the former slaves celebrated, establishing America's second Independence Day Celebration and the oldest African American holiday observance.
Juneteenth is now recognized as a state holiday or state holiday observance in
45 states. In 2003, the
District of Columbia passed legislation to recognize
Juneteenth as a district holiday observance.
"We will continue to urge President Obama to work with the U.S. Congress to pass legislation to make Juneteenth a National Day of Observance, like Flag Day and Patriot Day in America'" states Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Sr., M.D.,
Founder & Chairman of the
National Juneteenth Observance Foundation (NJOF).
"We hope that President Obama and Michele will take time to show respect for America's second Independence Day celebration during their last Juneteenth occupying the White House."
For more information contact Dr. Myers at 662-392-2016; e-mail:
JuneteenthDOC@yahoo.com; or web site: