DC’s June 19 celebration honors soldiers who announced the end of slavery in Texas

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A DC Juneteenth celebration read the names of 2,000 soldiers who, in 1865 in Galveston, Texas, helped spread the word that slavery had been abolished.

A DC Juneteenth celebration read the names of 2,000 soldiers who, in 1865 in Galveston, Texas, helped spread the word that slavery had been abolished.

Their names were read aloud Monday outside the African-American Civil War Memorial in the Northwest.



“We will elevate their names in the universe, never to be forgotten again,” said Frank Smith, founder and director of the African American Civil War Museum, which sponsored the June 19 ceremony.

Smith said the names that were read belonged to the soldiers who were with U.S. Major General Gordon Granger when he issued and announced General Order No. 3 – the order that informed the people of State that slavery had been abolished.

“They were in these sugar cane plantations. They were in these private plantations. They were telling people, ‘You are now free, and now your landlords have to pay you for the work.’ And they were applying that with the barrels of their guns as well,” Smith said.

Milla Jordan, from DC, was among the crowd of people who gathered for the event. She said that as she comes out to remember her ancestors, she feels that the families of those whose names were read would be happy to know that they are remembered.

“I think it’s a blessing. I think the soldiers’ ancestors would appreciate it,” Jordan said.

The event ended with a memorial parade at Howard University.

A DC Juneteenth celebration read the names of 2,000 soldiers who, in 1865 in Galveston, Texas, helped spread the word that slavery had been abolished.

WTO/Mike Murillo

The names read belonged to soldiers who were with U.S. Major-General Gordon Granger, when he issued and announced General Order No. 3. – the order which informed the people of the state that slavery had been abolished.

A June 19 celebration in DC honors soldiers who spread the word of freedom in Galveston, Texas.

OMCP/Rosie Hughes

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