A controversial holiday being acknowledged this week is drawing strong reactions and protest.
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The day in question is Confederate Memorial Day, or Confederate Heroes Day or Confederate Decoration Day, depending on what state you’re in.
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Here’s a look at the history of the controversial day.
What is it?
The state holiday is meant to honor those who fought and died in the Civil War.
Who recognizes it?
Florida, Kentucky, North Carolina, Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and South Carolina all either recognize Confederate Memorial Day as a state holiday or commemorate it.
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When is it?
That depends on what state you’re in. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Alabama and Mississippi observed Confederate Memorial Day on Monday, while Florida and Louisiana will celebrate it on Tuesday, the day Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered.
How did it start?
Confederate Memorial Day stretches back to the late 1800s. The first official celebration of the day was marked by a state proclamation in Georgia in 1874.
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What is the response to it?
The holiday has drawn criticism from some lawmakers and organizations.
In February 2021, Sen. Lauren Book (D-Plantation) filed legislation to eliminate Confederate Memorial Day, as well as two other Confederate holidays in the state: birthdays of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Jan. 19, and Confederate President Jefferson Davis on June 3.
“As a State, we must underscore diversity and undercut tributes to Confederacy, which upheld the institution of slavery,” Book said in a news release at the time. “With the hate and divisiveness we’re seeing today, it is more important than ever to condemn racism and reaffirm that we are indeed ‘one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all — not just for some.”
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