Was Memorial Day Started By Blacks?

One Yale Historian Says, “Yes!”

According to a Yale historian, the origin of Memorial Day, the last Monday in May set aside to commemorate Americans who died fighting for the United States, may actually be a holiday founded to honor the lives of black fallen soldiers.

David W. Blight, a historian at Yale, discovered that the first Memorial Day took place on May 1, 1865 to commemorate a group of black Union prisoners and soldiers who were part of the 21st United States Colored Infantry that freed the city of Charleston, S.C., once known as the capital of slavery.

According to Dr. Blight, hundreds of captive Union prisoners had died of disease and been buried in a mass grave at an old racecourse and jockey club. The black residents dug up the bodies, gave them proper burials, put a fence around the cemetery, and built an archway over it with the words, “Martyrs of the Race Course.”

The true origins of Memorial Day was later suppressed, according to Dr. Blight, by southern whites who reclaimed power after the end of Reconstruction and re-imagined Memorial Day as a holiday commemorating the sacrifices of whites, both Union and Confederate, during the Civil War.
For the full story regarding the truth about Memorial Day click here.

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