- Things to Do
- Food & Drink
- Where to Stay
- Plan Your Trip
General Orders, No. 3, was issued on June 19, 1865. The orders, among others read by General Gordon Granger at sites throughout the city, announced to the people of Texas that all enslaved people were free. This day, now known as Juneteenth, Freedom Day, or Emancipation Day, is one of Galveston Island's most important historical moments and has been marked by remembrance and celebrations almost every year since. In June 2022, Galveston Historical Foundation, led by its African American Heritage Committee, will open a new experience in the carriage house of the 1859 Ashton Villa. And Still We Rise… Galveston's Juneteenth Story introduces the context and consequences of that announcement from 1865 to the present day, in a long journey towards "absolute equality."
"Understanding the past offers an opportunity to be an advocate for a better life for all mankind," explains Tommie Boudreaux, chair of GHF's African American Heritage Committee. The exhibit draws from over 16 interviews, conducted by Boudreaux, as well as numerous historic documents and histories. The project was done in partnership with New Zealand's Gibson Group, which recently worked with GHF on their award-winning Ship To Shore interactive experience at Galveston Historic Seaport and will utilize many of the same technological aspects featured there.
"This Juneteenth experience introduces visitors and residents alike to the important story from 1865. It's an opportunity to connect important local sites to the largely under-told piece of Galveston's history, states GHF Executive Director Dwayne Jones. "Galvestonians are long familiar with Juneteenth, but now that it's a national holiday, more visitors, in person and virtually, can learn through the Ashton Villa experience and connect our island to freedom for others."
The experience will open in the week preceding Juneteenth 2022, with details on hours, admission, and more to be shared at www.galvestonhistory.org once finalized. In addition to the contemporary histories recorded, the site will feature numerous digital touchpoints to interact with the collected photos, stories, and research. It will also connect visitors to other island Juneteenth offerings.
"Galveston has been the source of many important moments in history, none more important than the events of June 19th, 1865," shares GHF President Dave Jacoby. "At Galveston Historical Foundation, we're tasked with helping steward this city's rich history. We're grateful for the opportunity to recognize the significance of this moment in our city and our nation's history."