PoP's Southern Thangs: North Carolina’s Legal Holiday Observes Lee’s Birthday on Thursday, January 19th


North Carolina’s Legal Holiday Observes Lee’s Birthday on Thursday, January 19th

Via Bernhard

Remembering Robert E. Lee: A Week-Long Observance

The early 1890’s saw the creation of public observances in honor of General Robert E. Lee in many Southern States.

The Nineteenth of January: The Second Public Observance of the Anniversary of the Birth of Robert E. Lee

The anniversary of the birth of Robert Edward Lee was again observed throughout Virginia on January 19th, 1892. In many of the cities and towns there were military parades, and the banks and public offices in all were closed. The Confederate Veterans Corps of the city of New York, and the Confederate Army and Navy Association of Baltimore, Maryland, each commemorated the occasion by a banquet with reverential exercises. The day is now by statute, a legal holiday in the States of North Carolina and Georgia as well as Virginia, and the day was observed in Raleigh and Atlanta, and doubtless in other Southern cities…

Business in the (Richmond) city offices was at a standstill yesterday and matters at the Capitol yesterday were dull. Many wholesale houses closed their establishments at noon and the freight depots of the railroads were also closed after that hour. The scholars of the public schools had half holiday, and the banks were closed throughout the day. Although the intensely discomforting weather materially interfered with the proposed open air demonstration, it could not dampen the ardent regard in which the memory of the glorious leader is held.

Richmond) Mayor Ellyson:

"Ladies, Comrades, and Fellow-Citizens: We have met today under the auspices of Lee and Pickett Camps to do honor to the memory of one of Virginia's noble sons. Robert E. Lee is forever enshrined in the hearts of his countrymen, and as we contemplate his virtues and heroism we are made better and purer men, and I trust the time will never come when Virginians shall fail on this, his natal day, to recount the valor and patriotism of their greatest chieftain, whose noblest aspiration in life found its completest realization in the doing of his duty to his God, and his fellow man.

There is no danger, comrades, that the men who wore the grey will ever prove recreant to the principles that actuated them in time of war, but there is danger that our children may, and so we wish on these recurring anniversaries to tell of the chivalrous deeds of such leaders as Lee, Jackson, Stuart and Pickett, and to teach coming generations that the soldiers of the Southern Confederacy were not rebels, but were Americans who loved liberty as something dearer than life itself."

(Lee’s Birthday, Southern Historical Papers, Volume XIX, R.A. Brock, Editor, 1891/1990, pp. 389-392)

From Free North Carolina


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