HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Know your history: Memori...

Tue May 28, 2013, 01:36 AM

Know your history: Memorial Day was started by former slaves in 1865 to honor Union Soldiers

KNOW YOUR HISTORY: Memorial Day was started by former slaves 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. They 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.

** The Civil War seems to be more relevant every day that goes by!!



EDIT: to add article with more information
http://thegrio.com/2013/05/27/the-african-american-roots-and-civil-war-origins-of-memorial-day/

A nugget of history that most of us never learned in school

HuffPo gets into more detail about "Decoration Day"
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-downs/memorial-day-2012_b_1545507.html?__hstc=223762052.5218346c1223349dbd7d71280ffe2a71.1369719990888.1369719990888.1369719990888.1&__hssc=223762052.4.1369719990888

12 replies, 6181 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 12 replies Author Time Post
Reply Know your history: Memorial Day was started by former slaves in 1865 to honor Union Soldiers (Original post)
flamingdem May 2013 OP
elleng May 2013 #1
flamingdem May 2013 #3
CaliforniaPeggy May 2013 #2
flamingdem May 2013 #4
REP May 2013 #6
flamingdem May 2013 #9
REP May 2013 #5
flamingdem May 2013 #7
SheilaT May 2013 #8
flamingdem May 2013 #10
SheilaT May 2013 #11
TreasonousBastard May 2013 #12

Response to flamingdem (Original post)

Tue May 28, 2013, 01:38 AM

1. Mebbe we both saw it on FB, eh, flamingdem?

Just posted it elsewhere on DU.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to elleng (Reply #1)

Tue May 28, 2013, 01:43 AM

3. Yes my new "friend" had this on his wall

... um have to admit it was news to me. Hope it's accurate, goes to show we can learn something new every day. I always thought it was a star spangled armed forces kind of thing!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to flamingdem (Original post)

Tue May 28, 2013, 01:40 AM

2. Thank you for doing this, my dear flamingdem.

This pivotal bit of history sure got left out.

K&R

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #2)

Tue May 28, 2013, 01:44 AM

4. I really just learned about it a half hour ago

dear Peggy! It sure was news to me. Make one wonder what other historical roots in our culture get hidden over time.. hmm

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to CaliforniaPeggy (Reply #2)

Tue May 28, 2013, 01:51 AM

6. Because its not true

This event happened. It was not the first observation of what is now called Memorial Day.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to REP (Reply #6)

Tue May 28, 2013, 01:55 AM

9. But maybe it was, history is written in such a way

as to erase certain stories and emphasize others.

There are probably books about this, I'll have to find a good one. Accuracy is important of course but it would be great to find a scholar who has looked at this event from all angles.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to flamingdem (Original post)

Tue May 28, 2013, 01:50 AM

5. Not really

It used to be Decoration Day and the graves of both sides were decorated. The incident mentioned is a well-known one, but it not the the first time the graves of Civil War soldiers were decorated.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to REP (Reply #5)

Tue May 28, 2013, 01:52 AM

7. I just added an article from The Griot

and I see that there are other aspects to the story. Still, this one makes an impression.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to flamingdem (Original post)

Tue May 28, 2013, 01:53 AM

8. There seem to be many versions of how Memorial Day about.

 

In my youth, in the 1950's, it wasn't yet a national holiday, and tended to have Southern/Confederacy overtones. I lived in Upstate New York at the time, for what that's worth.

And it does seem to me as though for several years after a more or less national Memorial Day had been established, some of the Southern (read old Confederacy) states tended to celebrate different days. I'm thinking it was with whatever the act was in the 1970's that moved every possible holiday to a Monday, that Memorial Day really, finally, became a national holiday.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to SheilaT (Reply #8)

Tue May 28, 2013, 01:57 AM

10. How interesting

Hmm. Naturally the South might have a different take

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to flamingdem (Reply #10)

Tue May 28, 2013, 02:13 AM

11. Decoration Day is what is was generally called in the South.

 

As I recall, just about each state did it on a different day. It was generally the Northern states that tended to do it on the 30th of May, which I'm thinking is the original date as I knew it.

I'm not bothering to do a google search, so anything I have wrong is from lack of research.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to flamingdem (Original post)

Tue May 28, 2013, 02:20 AM

12. That no doubt happened, but two dozen or so locations claim to be the birthplace...

of Memorial Day. Officially, the first Decoration Day, the precursor to Memorial Day, was in 1868 when the Grand Army of the Republic declared a day to put flowers on the graves. Even more officially, Congress declared Waterloo, NY as its birthplace because of a celebration in 1866.

These people above do predate that and there were no doubt other such earlier remembrances. The vaguaries of history, combined with a bit of lingering racism, make many of them invisible.

Here are two somewhat more reliable sites than Huffpo, which, unfortunately, don't mention former slaves:

http://usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html

http://www1.va.gov/opa/speceven/memday/history.asp

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread