Georgia Celebrates Confederate Memorial Day
The Capitol and all state agencies will be closed April 23 in recognition of Confederate Memorial Day.
Are you a son or daughter of the Confederacy? Today, April 23, Georgians are celebrating Confederate Memorial Day, the day set aside to honor those who died fighting for the Confederate States of America during the Civil War.
Confederate Memorial Day is a holiday for state employees. According to the state website, the holiday is observed Monday, though it is officially Thursday, April 26.
Technically, there is no holiday officially known as Confederate Memorial Day in Georgia, which originally held it April 26 to commemorate the surrender of Confederate troops to Union Gen. William T. Sherman. The original routine began in 1874.
In 1984, the Georgia Legislature eliminated the official reference. The law now reads (per georgia.gov)
(1) All days which have been designated as of January 1, 1984, as public and legal holidays by the federal government; and (2) All other days designated and proclaimed by the Governor as public and legal holidays or as days of fasting and prayer or other religious observance. In such designation the Governor shall include at least one of the following dates: January 19, April 26, or June 3, or a suitable date in lieu thereof to commemorate the event or events now observed by such dates.
The 1984 legislation dropped the names of all official state holidays from the Georgia Code. In one sense, this eliminated any state holiday known as Confederate Memorial Day, Robert E. Lee's Birthday, or Jefferson Davis's Birthday - or Thanksgiving or Christmas. Rather, Georgia observes whatever federal holidays were observed as of January 1, 1984. Additionally, the governor is charged with selecting January 19, April 26, or June 3 - or an alternative date more suitable - for commemorating any or all of the persons or events formerly recognized on those three dates.
Share your thoughts on this holiday. Should Confederate Memorial Day be a state holiday? Let us know in the comments.
Compiled by Steve Burns.