In April 1865, after four years at the heart of the American Civil War, Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, was evacuated. The Confederate government left the city and Union troops, including United States Colored Troops, entered the city and arrived at the Capitol. That moment foreshadowed the reunification of the United States, the end of 240 years of American slavery, and the beginning of an uncertain journey into freedom for African Americans here and across the nation.
Richmond’s Journey is the continuation of Future of Richmond’s Past, a collaborative effort among cultural, historical, and community organizations from the greater Richmond region. Formed in 2010 on the eve of the Civil War sesquicentennial, Future was dedicated to ensuring the 150th anniversary observance recognized and included the shared history of all city residents who were affected by the war and its legacies. Programs included a series of Community Conversations, conferences, and programs designed to teach the lessons of the past and apply them to the future.
Our signature event is the annual Civil War and Emancipation Day, held in April to coincide with the anniversary of the end of the American Civil War and the beginning of widespread emancipation in Richmond.
This year’s Civil War and Emancipation Day will take place Saturday, April 8, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at Historic Tredegar in downtown Richmond. It will highlight two significant themes in post-war Richmond that have evolved into fundamental components of our modern democracy: voting and education.