Memorial Day: Another Charleston First

The first Memorial Day was held in Charleston in 1865 when black people gathered to honor 167 white Union soldiers who died fighting for their freedom. 
The soldiers had been buried in a mass grave in what now is Hampton Park, and when the Civil War ended some black men dug up the graves so the the men could be given honorable burials.  On May 1, 1865, more than 10,000 people, mostly black but a scattering of white, gathered at the site.  Over the years, the day has come to memorialize all service members who have died in defense of their country.

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