South Carolina marks Confederate Memorial Day on Tuesday

A bill that would allow state employees to take the Juneteenth holiday or any other day instead of Confederate Memorial Day unanimously passed the South Carolina Senate in March but is stuck in a House committee.

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South Carolina will close state offices on Tuesday to mark Confederate Memorial Day.

The observation of the holiday is every year on May 10. South Carolina is among a handful of states in the South with such an official holiday. State offices in Alabama and Mississippi closed down for their Confederate Memorial Days late last month.

South Carolina chose May 10 because it is the day when Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson died in 1863 after he was wounded by his own troops and the day Union soldiers captured fleeing Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Georgia in 1865.

A Pan-African flag flies from Black Lives Matter Plaza overlooking the White House
A Pan-African flag flies from Black Lives Matter Plaza overlooking the White House on Juneteenth to mark the liberation of slavery in 1865 on June 19, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Michael A. McCoy/Getty Images)

A bill that would allow state employees to take the Juneteenth holiday or any other day instead of Confederate Memorial Day unanimously passed the South Carolina Senate in March but is stuck in a House committee and will likely die when the session ends Thursday.

The bill began as a proposal to add the Juneteenth celebration on June 19 as a new state holiday. But instead of adding a 14th holiday, the bill would create a holiday that state employees could take any time they want.

It wasn’t immediately clear from the language of the bill whether state officers would have remained closed on Confederate Memorial Day like they do currently or of they could end up closed on Juneteenth.

The General Assembly will meet as normal on Tuesday.

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