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James Randolph
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James Randolph   My Press Releases

Do You Know Your American History?

Published on 5/31/2016
For additional information  Click Here

DO YOU KNOW YOUR AMERICAN HISTORY?

Today we celebrate Memorial Day but do you know the origin of this holiday?

 

Several cities and states claim to be the first to celebrate the holiday but there is an untold story of Memorial Day that might surprise you.

 

Memorial Day was first called Decoration Day when Maj Gen John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) back in May 5, 1868, set aside May 30 to decorate the graves of American soldiers who had fallen in battle. 

 

In 1966, President L.B. Johnson, by presidential proclamation,

named Waterloo, NY the first to celebrate this historic holiday.

 

In the year 1971, Congress establish "Memorial Day" as an official federal holiday to honor all Americans who have fallen in US wars.

 

THE UNTOLD STORY...

During the spring of 1865, African-Americans in Charleston, South Carolina (most of them former slaves) held a series of memorials to honor fallen Union soldiers. The city's Washington Race Track and Jockey Club had been used as a prison where Union captives were kept  and at least 257 died of disease and were hastily buried in mass graves.

 

After the evacuation of Charleston, black workers reburied the Union dead properly and built a high fence around the cemetary. A New Yok Tribune correspondent reported that afterwards, a procession of 3000 black school children carrying roses and singing songs, followed by black men marching in cadence, and these followed by a contingent of Union Infantrymen, dedicated this joyous occasion.

 

After the dedication the crowd dispersed into the infield and did what many of us do on Memorial Day: enjoyed picnics, listened to speeches and watch soldiers drill.

 

Yes, you may have guessed that Charleston, South Carolina are among those who claim to be the birth place of Memorial Day.

 

Wishing all a memorable Memorial Day.

 

 

 

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