PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A 90-year-old woman was in Pittsburgh on Saturday as she walks across the country to gather support for a petition to make Juneteenth an official holiday.
Opal Lee, of Fort Worth, Texas, wants to petition Congress and President Obama to make Juneteenth, the day marking the abolition of slavery, a National Day of Recognition before Obama leaves office.
To gather support, Lee is walking across the country and collecting signatures on a petition.
“I walk wherever I’m invited,” Lee said. “Two-and-a-half miles in the morning and two-and-a-half in the afternoon to symbolize that slaves were told later that they were free.”
Lee has already made stops in a number of states, from Louisiana to Virginia to Illinois. Her final destination is Washington, D.C., where she hopes to present her petition to Obama. She hopes to collect 100,000 signatures by then.
Her Pittsburgh walk took her from the Bethel AME Church on Webster Avenue through the Hill District to Freedom Corner.
Pittsburgh celebrated the Juneteenth Celebration this summer as part of the city’s bi-centennial observation.