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While many state offices are closed with employees working remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic, Monday is an official state holiday – Confederate Memorial Day.
Confederate Memorial Day falls on the fourth Monday of the month, this year coming on April 27.
On a typical Confederate Memorial Day, state offices and courts, including license and car tag offices, are closed. Most city and county offices and courts are open, though the COVID-19 stay-at-home order has stopped many operations. This year, state offices will be closed for Confederate Memorial Day though some phone operations will be available. Mail will run and banks will be open though many are offering only drive-thru services.
Alabama is one of only two states that have official holidays honoring those who died in the Civil War. Mississippi commemoration takes place on the last Monday of the month; South Carolina celebrates Confederate Memorial Day on May 10.
Two other states – Texas and Tennessee – also commemorate the day but it’s not a state holiday. Texas marks Confederate Heroes Day in Jan. 19; Tennessee marks Confederate Decoration Day on June 3.
Alabama has three Confederate-related holidays: Robert E. Lee’s birthday on third Monday in January (celebrated along with birthday of civil rights leader Martin Luther King); Confederate Memorial Day on fourth Monday in April; and birthday of Confederate President Jefferson Davis on the first Monday in June.
Confederate Memorial Day traces its roots back to 1866 when the Ladies Memorial Association of Columbus, Georgia passed a resolution to set aside a day to honor Confederate soldiers who lost their lives in the Civil War. Almost 260,000 Civil War soldiers were killed in the line of duty. The holiday is typically observed in late April to mark the surrender of the last major Confederate field army at Bennett Place on April 26, 1865.