|Rev. Ronald V. Myers, Jr.|
Chair, National Juneteenth Holiday Campaign
|Dr. Wesley Johnson, Sr.|
The largest Juneteenth celebration outside of Texas was started in 1950 in San Francisco by Texas native Dr. Wesley Johnson, Sr., a Fillmore street business owner. Other California observances were held in Oakland and Los Angeles. The Civil Rights Movement led some African Americans to pursuits less traditional than Juneteenth, but it also inspired an interest in the struggles of the ancestors. Those who participated in Resurrection City and the Poor Peoples' March on Washington in 1968 spread the idea around the country, and Milwaukee and Minneapolis were among the first cities to celebrate Juneteenth
In 1979 Texas State Assemblyman Al Edwards introduced legislation to make Juneteenth a state holiday, and it was observed by following year. Currently, 39 states observe the holiday.
Leaders of various Juneteenth celebrations from around the country met in New Orleans in 1994 to create a national Juneteenth movement. This has led to increased awareness and observance around the country, and to proclaiming June as National Black Music Month as well as starting a movement for national observance of Juneteenth.