Jefferson Davis Day is a state holiday in Alabama on the first Monday in June to honor those who fought in the Civil War for the Confederacy. In 2018, Jefferson Davis Day falls on 4 June.
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Jefferson Davis Day was originally organized by Elizabeth Rutherford Ellis for April 1866 to commemorate the final surrender of the Confederacy at the end of the Civil War. This first celebration was a chance for those who fought in the Civil War for the South to come together to remember their military service together. Since then, it has become a yearly tradition across the South featuring picnics, parades, and celebration.
Similar to Memorial Day in the rest of the United States, this holiday is less a memorial of the fallen and more of a celebration of Southern culture. In Alabama, it became an official state holiday in 1901. This somber event is also a bank and school holiday for the state. Children’s participation in the events typically involve making of daisy chains and marching in the parade.
In Alabama, the local chapters of the Sons of the Confederate Veterans and Daughters of the Confederacy, as well as the Ladies Memorial Association, always have a demonstration in Confederate uniform at the many Confederate cemeteries and memorial sites across the state.
The center of these memorials is the Oakwood Cemetary, where 724 Confederate soldiers and dignitaries are buried; a second site is the site of the Battle of Selma. It is an opportunity to remember the Confederacy and celebrate the South.