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DECORATION DAY HISTORY

Griffin Enterprises

THE PAINTING WELCOME HOME: Was created to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the end of the American Civil War and the Emancipation of their enslaved people. The initial version of the painting was exhibited in April 2015 at the African American Civil War Museum in Washington DC., during the Emancipation celebration and the festivities marking the anniversary of the death of President Lincoln. Artist: Diane Britton Dunham, Original available call 843-838-2241 for details

...DECORATION DAY/MEMORIAL Day originated after the American Civil War to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the war. This year is a jubilee year which marks the 150th year of the end of the American Civil War and the Emancipation of enslaved people in this country.
The first widely-publicized observance of a Decoration Day/ Memorial Day-type observance after the Civil War was in Charleston, South Carolina, on May 1, 1865. During the war, Union soldiers who were prisoners of war had been held at the Hampton Park Race Course in Charleston; at least 257 Union prisoners died there and were hastily buried in unmarked graves. Together with teachers and missionaries, Black residents of Charleston, SC organized a May Day ceremony in 1865, which was covered by the New York Tribune and other national papers. The freedmen cleaned up and landscaped the burial ground, building an enclosure and an arch labeled "Martyrs of the Race Course." Nearly 10,000 people, mostly freedmen, gathered on May 1 to commemorate the war dead. Involved were about 3,000 school children, newly enrolled in freedmen's schools, as well as mutual aid societies, Union troops, black ministers and white northern missionaries. Most brought flowers to lie on the burial field. Today the site is remembrance celebration would come to be called the "First Decoration Day" in the North.



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