On June 19, 1865, 2,000 federal troops arrived on Galveston Island to take possession of the state and enforce the emancipation of its slaves. This was more than 2 years after the Emancipation Proclamation had officially taken effect.
Standing on the balcony of the Ashton Villa, Major General Gordon Granger read the contents of “General Order No. 3” and as a tradition is read again on the very same spot every June 19th.
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