COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina closed state government offices Monday to mark Confederate Memorial Day.
Some local government offices will also close in observation of the holiday that is held every year on May 10. South Carolina is among a handful of states in the South with such an official holiday. State offices in Alabama and Mississippi closed down for their Confederate Memorial Days late last month.
South Carolina chose May 10 because it is the day when Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson died in 1863 after he was wounded by his own troops and the day Union soldiers captured fleeing Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Georgia in 1865.
South Carolina added Confederate Memorial Day to the state holiday calendar in conjunction with Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2000.
Former Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham, announced Monday he would work to remove the state holiday if elected governor in 2022.
“Confederate Memorial Day is only an official state holiday in five states and for good reason,” Cunningham said. “South Carolina was the last state in the country to recognize Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a state holiday but only because Republicans in the legislature insisted on pairing it with Confederate Memorial Day.”
“It’s time to end our state’s official observance of Confederate Memorial Day and replace it with a truly patriotic day – Election Day.”