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African American mixed race family at July 4th picnic

Source: Susan Chiang, Getty Images / Getty

African-Americans held the first Memorial Day. However, in 1865, it was called “Decoration Day.”

What was once a little known fact is now being outed by Yale University history professor David Blight, who, 15 years ago was doing research for a forthcoming book when he stumbled upon a box of unorganized papers of a Union veterans’ organization.

Three years before the commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic called on Union veterans’ organizations to decorate the graves of dead soldiers, blacks in Charleston, South Carolina in 1865 held their own “Decoration Day” to honor the Union’s war dead.

“That shows that some parts of history can be lost, depending on who’s in control,” says Blight. Read more at Black America Web.

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