Juneteenth: Slavery Abolished In The U.S. In 1865 (The Aftermath)

A Juneteenth celebration in Richmond, Virginia, 1905. (VCU Libraries/Wikimedia Commons)

On June 19, 1865, Union army general Gordon Granger stood on the balcony of the great Ashton Villa in Galveston, Texas and read the federal order proclaiming all slaves in the United States to be free. It's safe to say that things got lit in Galveston that night—at least, as lit as possible in 1865—and Juneteeth (as it's become known) is a night for celebration to this day. But the American people still had a long way to go before slavery was entirely abolished.