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The true history of Memorial day

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by gafinfan, May 27, 2009.

  1. gafinfan

    gafinfan gunner Club Member

    We have just honored those who have stepped up to the plate at a call to arms. So just how and where did this tradition start and just who started it.

    The answer will surprise you, I'm sure.

    The United States actually adopted the South's "Memorial Day" as an official Holiday. The North had no such commemoration until they adopted the South's Holiday on May 30, 1868, to basically commemorate the end of the War, two years after the South started observing it. In the North, it was only for those Union soldiers killed during the Civil War, and never honored the Southern dead. It was not until WWII that the U.S. decided to expand the Holiday to honor ALL those killed, or wounded, or those who served in the military.

    In 1874, the Georgia General Assembly approved legislation adding as a new public holiday "The 26th day of April in each year--commonly known as Memorial Day." April 26 marks the anniversary of the end of the Civil War for Georgia, for it was on this day in 1865 that Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston's surrender to General William Sherman in North Carolina became official. Johnston had been in charge of Georgia's defense, so this day marked the end of the war for Georgia.

    Exactly when Georgians began commemorating April 26 as Memorial Day is unclear, but the language of the 1874 act clearly recognizes that April 26 was already being celebrated as an unofficial holiday. The day of observance may trace to the women of Columbus, Georgia, who on April 12, 1866 organized a memorial association and began a campaign to have a special day for "paying honor to those who died defending the life, honor and happiness of the Southern women." Three days later, the Atlanta Ladies' Memorial Association was organized, and on April 26, 1866, the association held a Confederate memorial observance at Oakland Cemetery.

    Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day and you can thank the Southern ladies of Columbus and Atlanta, GA for its humble beginnings.:up:

    charlestonphan and sking29 like this.
  2. sking29

    sking29 What it takes to be cool

    Dec 9, 2007
    East Tennessee
    Great post GA. :yes:
    gafinfan likes this.

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