When our PR firm begins working with clients, we always ask how and why the organization began. In those stories, we find prevailing narratives. Many cities lay claim to originating Memorial Day, but historians now credit Charleston, South Carolina with the first and finest.
On May 1, 1865, weeks after the South surrendered the Civil War, 10,000 former slaves gathered on grounds of a former Union prison and celebrated their freedom by honoring their liberators. They spent days excavating 257 Union soldiers from a common grave and gave them individual burials.
Charleston, then and now, is a class act.