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Confederate Memorial Day in United States

Quick Facts

On Confederate Memorial Day remembers the soldiers who died fighting for the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War (1861-1865). It is a state holiday in some parts of the United States.

Local names

NameLanguage
Confederate Memorial DayEnglish
Recuerdo de la ConfederaciónSpanish

Alternative names

NameLanguage
Confederate Heroes DayEnglish
Día de los Héroes de la ConfederaciónSpanish

Confederate Memorial Day 2014

Sunday, January 19, 2014 (TX)
Monday, April 28, 2014 (AL, FL, GA, MS, TX)
Friday, May 9, 2014 – Observed date (SC)
Saturday, May 10, 2014 (NC, SC)

Confederate Memorial Day 2015

Monday, January 19, 2015 (TX)
Monday, April 27, 2015 (AL, FL, GA, MS, TX)
Sunday, May 10, 2015 (NC, SC)
Monday, May 11, 2015 – Observed date (NC, SC)
See list of observations below
Confederate Memorial Day is an state holiday in some states in the United States. It gives people a chance to honor and remember the Confederate soldiers who died or were wounded during the American Civil War during the 1860s.

The Confederate flag, pictured above, is remembered on Confederate Memorial Day, also known as Confederate Heroes Day. ©iStockphoto.com/Dan Brandenburg

What do people do?

A range of events are organized on and around Confederate Memorial Day. The Main Library of the University of Georgia marks the occasion by publicly displaying the original Constitution of the Confederate States of America.

Other observances include:

  • Ceremonies to place flags and wreaths on the graves of Confederate soldiers and memorials to them.
  • Church services.
  • Re-enactments (in historical costume) of battles and events from the Civil War.
  • Displays of Civil War relics.

However, this type of observance is controversial, as some see it as glorifying a culture and way of life that could only exist because of the work carried out by slaves.

Public life

Confederate Memorial Day is a state holiday in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi on the fourth Monday in April. It is a state holiday in South Carolina and North Carolina on May 10.

If Confederate Memorial Day falls on Sunday in North Carolina, the following Monday is a public holiday. Confederate Memorial Day is known as Confederate Heroes Day in Texas. It is held on January 19 each year. Only one day off is given to workers if it coincides with Martin Luther King Day.

In these areas, state offices and schools are generally closed. However, Confederate Memorial Day is not a federal holiday and federal offices may be open. Stores and other businesses may be open or closed according to local custom. Public transit services may operate to their normal or reduced schedules. There may be some minor road closures or congestion around war memorials or important battlegrounds.

Background

Between 1861 and 1865, there was a war between the Union and the Confederate States of America. As slavery disappeared from the northern states, but remained viable in the south, two very different ways of life arose in these sections, according to the US Department of the Interior’s National Park Service. Compromises regarding slavery, especially its extension to the new western territories, became more difficult to achieve. Social, political and economic power was at stake for both the north and the south.

The divisions began in 1860 when Abraham Lincoln, who opposed slavery, was elected as president of the United States. Seven states in the south declared their secession from the United States before he took office. Southern states maintained various concerns regarding political ideals, property and homes, protection for their families, and economic loss.

The actual war started on April 12, 1861, at Fort Sumter in South Carolina. The last cease-fire was signed at Fort Towson, Oklahoma, on June 23, 1865, although the naval forces on the CSS Shenandoah did not surrender until November 4, 1865 in Liverpool, Great Britain. It is estimated that more than 600,000 soldiers died during the American Civil War and that about 260,000 of these were Confederates. In addition, an unknown number of civilians died in the hostilities.

Those who died fighting for the Confederate States during the American Civil War are remembered on other dates in some states. In Arkansas and Texas, there are joint celebrations of the birthdays of Robert E. Lee (a general in the Confederate army) and Martin Luther King on the third Monday in January. In Texas, this is sometimes known as Confederate Heroes Day. In Kentucky, Louisiana and Tennessee, the birthday of Jefferson Davis (the only President of the Confederate States of America) on June 3, 1808, is observed.

In North and South Carolina, May 10 marks the anniversaries of the death of Thomas Jonathan 'Stonewall' Jackson (a general in the Confederate army) in 1863 and the capture of Jefferson Davis in 1865. In Pennsylvania, the organization known as the Sons of Confederate Veterans commemorates those who died while fighting for the Confederates.  In Virginia, the lives of Confederate soldiers are honored on Memorial Day on the last Monday in May. Confederate Memorial Day was first observed in a number of areas in or just after 1866.

Confederate Memorial Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
SatJan 191980Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 281980Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
FriMay 91980Confederate Memorial Day observedState holidaySC
SatMay 101980Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
MonJan 191981Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 271981Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
SunMay 101981Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
MonMay 111981Confederate Memorial Day observedState holidayNC, SC
TueJan 191982Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 261982Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
MonMay 101982Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
WedJan 191983Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 251983Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
TueMay 101983Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
ThuJan 191984Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 231984Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
ThuMay 101984Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
SatJan 191985Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 221985Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
FriMay 101985Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
SunJan 191986Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 281986Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
FriMay 91986Confederate Memorial Day observedState holidaySC
SatMay 101986Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
MonJan 191987Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 271987Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
SunMay 101987Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
MonMay 111987Confederate Memorial Day observedState holidayNC, SC
TueJan 191988Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 251988Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
TueMay 101988Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
ThuJan 191989Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 241989Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
WedMay 101989Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
FriJan 191990Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 231990Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
ThuMay 101990Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
SatJan 191991Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 221991Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
FriMay 101991Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
SunJan 191992Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 271992Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
SunMay 101992Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
MonMay 111992Confederate Memorial Day observedState holidayNC, SC
TueJan 191993Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 261993Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
MonMay 101993Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
WedJan 191994Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 251994Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
TueMay 101994Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
ThuJan 191995Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 241995Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
WedMay 101995Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
FriJan 191996Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 221996Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
FriMay 101996Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
SunJan 191997Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 281997Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
FriMay 91997Confederate Memorial Day observedState holidaySC
SatMay 101997Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
MonJan 191998Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 271998Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
SunMay 101998Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
MonMay 111998Confederate Memorial Day observedState holidayNC, SC
TueJan 191999Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 261999Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
MonMay 101999Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
WedJan 192000Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 242000Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
WedMay 102000Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
FriJan 192001Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 232001Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
ThuMay 102001Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
SatJan 192002Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 222002Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
FriMay 102002Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
SunJan 192003Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 282003Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
FriMay 92003Confederate Memorial Day observedState holidaySC
SatMay 102003Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
MonJan 192004Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 262004Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
MonMay 102004Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
WedJan 192005Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 252005Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
TueMay 102005Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
ThuJan 192006Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 242006Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
WedMay 102006Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
FriJan 192007Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 232007Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
ThuMay 102007Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
SatJan 192008Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 282008Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
FriMay 92008Confederate Memorial Day observedState holidaySC
SatMay 102008Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
MonJan 192009Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 272009Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
SunMay 102009Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
MonMay 112009Confederate Memorial Day observedState holidayNC, SC
TueJan 192010Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 262010Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
MonMay 102010Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
WedJan 192011Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 252011Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
TueMay 102011Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
ThuJan 192012Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 232012Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
ThuMay 102012Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
SatJan 192013Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 222013Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
FriMay 102013Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
SunJan 192014Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 282014Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
FriMay 92014Confederate Memorial Day observedState holidaySC
SatMay 102014Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
MonJan 192015Confederate Memorial DayState holidayTX
MonApr 272015Confederate Memorial DayState holidayAL, FL, GA, MS, TX
SunMay 102015Confederate Memorial DayState holidayNC, SC
MonMay 112015Confederate Memorial Day observedState holidayNC, SC

Related holidays

Other holidays in May 2014 in United States

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