Confederate Memorial Day in the 1940s
Confederate Memorial Day will be this Thursday, April the 26th.
The pictures are of the Confederate Cemetery in Marietta. I am told it is the largest Confederate Cemetery in the South, and I’m willing to bet, anywhere outside the south also. It has 3000 residences. One of the residences is black. That will be for a future blog.
Back when I was in grammar school at Waterman Street School in the late 1940s each year on Confederate Memorial Day our teachers would herd us and all our other fellow students of the school out of the building and into the street where we would walk single file, or maybe two abreast, on the sidewalk the three or four blocks to the Square in downtown Marietta. There, we became part of a sea of other white grammar school students from all over Marietta.
White grammar school students? Yes, this was a "white only" activity. That was during the days of segregation. The Supreme Court ruled that Segregation was fine providing it was “separate but equal”. So, the black school children had a march to the National Cemetery, which had Yankees buried in it on Memorial Day, or also known here in Marietta then as “Yankee Memorial Day”.
We were each given a small Rebel flag with a small little staff. After we marched to the Confederate Cemetery we were to find a grave not yet stuck and stick the flag in it, near the headstone. Then we would have to stand in the hot sun and listen to politicians, Daughters of the Confederacy, and whoever else give speech after speech. Well, even though we didn’t give things like that much thought at that age, we were a captivated crowd, just what speakers need.
Or, the more I think about it, we probably listened to the speakers first then scattered to stick the flags and scattered on out of there.
In the first grade my mother was worried that I would get lost in the crowd and somebody snatch me up. She gave my sister, who was probably in the 5th grade, strict orders to keep an eye on me and hold my hand after the meeting broke up and we were to go home.
My sister recalls that after it broke up she looked for me and couldn’t find me. She frantically looked and looked and I was no place. She had to walk home alone and dreaded having to tell my mother that she had missed me, now I was lost.
When she got home I was playing in the yard.
I knew the downtown streets more than they realized.
Yes, I know these pictures are pictures I taken in a Fall season and I am talking about a Spring event, but its the best I can come up with.
Labels: Civil War