A Brief History of Memorial Day
158 | May 24, 2009 at 08:23 pmby
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Thanks to all veterans and
all active duty military.
The exact origins of Memorial Day are disputed, with at least five towns claiming to have given birth to the holiday some time near the end of the Civil War. Yale University historian David Blight places the first Memorial Day in April 1865, when a group of former slaves gathered at a Charleston, S.C. horse track-turned-Confederate prison where more than 250 Union soldiers had died. Digging up the soldiers' mass grave, they interred the bodies in individual graves, built a hundred-yard fence around them and erected an archway over the entrance bearing the words "Martyrs of the Race Course."
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