One of the First Widely Publicized Memorial Day Celebrations

Today is Memorial Day in the U.S. — a day where we have a focus on remembering the men and women who’ve given their lives in military service protecting our freedoms.

This historical tidbit is one I hadn’t heard of until recently, and I thought I’d share it:

On May 1, 1865 in Charleston, SC, to honor 257 dead Union Soldiers who had been buried in a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp (Race Course prison camp which later became Hampton Park), former slaves dug up the bodies and worked for 2 weeks to give them a proper burial as gratitude for fighting for their freedom.

They then held a parade of 10,000 people led by 2,800 black children where they marched, sang, and celebrated.

 

MemorialDay1865

 

Photo and some information: http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=thread&address=10022910916

More information: http://www.postandcourier.com/article/20090524/PC1602/305249938

And Snopes for good measure: http://www.snopes.com/military/memorialday.asp

 

12 thoughts on “One of the First Widely Publicized Memorial Day Celebrations

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