Should taxpayers fund commemorations of the Confederacy? That's the conversation sociologist Mark Patrick George and Reverend Floyd Rose are hoping to start with a letter they sent last month to Georgia lawmakers. They argue that Georgia’s secession ordinance of 1861 proves the Confederacy fought in order to preserve slavery, and therefore taxpayers shouldn’t pay to glorify it. George and Rose say heritage groups like the Sons and Daughters of the Confederacy are obfuscating history by suggesting the Confederacy only fought for states’ rights and southern pride.
Monday, April 28 is Confederate Memorial Day in Georgia. A lot of people don’t even know the state holiday exists. Before coming to work at GPB, “On The Story” writer Lisa Clark was one of them. In fact, she says she was “nonplussed” when she found out Confederate Memorial Day was an actual holiday. Last week, she set out to find out the origin of Confederate Memorial Day, and why people celebrate it the first place.
Monday is Confederate Memorial Day across Georgia, closing state offices and giving state employees a day off. Civil War historian Michael Shaffer talks about the holiday and why it is celebrated in Georgia.