THE STATE OF GEORGIA PROCLAIMS APRIL IS CONFEDERATE HISTORY AND HERITAGE MONTH AND CONFEDERATE MEMORIAL DAY ON APRIL 26.
April is Confederate History and Heritage month as proclaimed by the Georgia Code O.C.G.A. § 1-4-20 and Georgia’s Confederate Memorial Day is April 26. All across our great State Sons of Confederate Camps and United Daughters of the Confederacy Chapters are having annual memorial services and placing memorial flags on our Southern Heroes graves in honor of Georgia’s Veterans. When the South was invaded, Georgia called for her Sons to do their duty and over 130,000 joined their local units to serve in the Army of Northern Virginia, The Army of Tennessee, the Army of Trans Mississippi, The Confederate State Navy and the Georgia Home Guard. Over 33,000 of these valiant Soldiers died protecting their Homes and Families, more that all other wars and conflicts combined.
Confederate Memorial Day in Georgia:
In 1874, the Georgia General Assembly approved legislation adding as a new public holiday “The 26th day of April in each year – commonly known as Memorial Day.” April 26 marks the anniversary of the end of the War of Northern Aggression for Georgia, for it was on this day in 1865 that Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston’s surrender to General William T. Sherman at Durham Station, North Carolina became official. Johnston had been in charge of Georgia’s defense, so this day marked the end of the war for Georgia.
Exactly when Georgians began commemorating April 26 as Memorial Day is unclear, but the language of the 1874 act clearly recognizes that April 26 was already being celebrated as an unofficial holiday. The day of observance may trace to the women of Columbus, Georgia, who on April 12, 1866 organized a memorial association and began a campaign to have a special day for “paying honor to those who died defending the life, honor and happiness of the Southern women.” Three days later, the Atlanta Ladies’ Memorial Association was organized, and on April 26, 1866, the association held a Confederate memorial observance at Oakland Cemetery.
Confederate History and Heritage Month:
O.C.G.A. § 1-4-20
Copyright 2016 by The State of Georgia
All rights reserved.
*** Current Through the 2016 Regular Session ***
TITLE 1. GENERAL PROVISIONS
CHAPTER 4. HOLIDAYS AND OBSERVANCES
O.C.G.A. § 1-4-20 (2016)
1-4-20. Designation of Confederate History and Heritage Month
(a) The General Assembly hereby finds and determines that tourism is a great economic resource in Georgia; and historical, heritage, and cultural inheritance are among the tourism industry’s most popular attractions. Georgia’s Confederate heritage, physical artifacts and battle sites, and historic events and persons not only attract visitors, they are potentially of even greater importance and benefit to our state’s economy. Increased development of our state’s Confederate history and heritage as part of the tourism industry will be enhanced through recognizing, celebrating, and advertising that heritage and history.
(b) The month of April of each year is hereby designated as Confederate History and Heritage Month and shall be set aside to honor, observe, and celebrate the Confederate States of America, its history, those who served in its armed forces and government, and all those millions of its citizens of various races and ethnic groups and religions who contributed in sundry and myriad ways to the cause which they held so dear from its founding on February 4, 1861, in Montgomery, Alabama, until the Confederate ship CSS Shenandoah sailed into Liverpool Harbor and surrendered to British authorities on November 6, 1865.
(c) Officials and departments of state, county, and municipal governments, boards of education, elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, businesses, and all citizens are encouraged to participate in programs, displays, and activities that commemorate and honor our shared history and cultural inheritance throughout each April during Confederate History and Heritage Month.
HISTORY: Code 1981, § 1-4-20, enacted by Ga. L. 2009, p. 207, § 2/SB 27.