Confederate History Month
Confederate History Month is a month annually designated by six state governments in the Southern United States for the purpose of recognizing and honoring the history of the Confederate States of America. April has traditionally been chosen, as Confederate Memorial Day falls during that month in many of these states.
Although Confederate Memorial Day is a holiday in most Southern states, the tradition of having a Confederate History Month is not uniform. State governments or chief executives that have regularly declared Confederate History Month are as follows:
- Florida (since 2007)
- Georgia (by proclamation since 1995, by legislative authority since 2009)
- Texas (since 1999)
- Virginia (1994–2002, 2010)
Some local governments in the above states also frequently approve an independent declaration for the same larger purpose. This is also true in states where the larger legislative body does not officially recognize Confederate History Month. Some examples include:
- Prestonburg, Kentucky
- City of Columbia, Tennessee
- Putnam County, Tennessee
- Lee County, Florida passed a resolution on April 6th, 2006 proclaiming April as Confederate Heritage Month. This is forever in effect.
Confederate History Month and related celebrations have been controversial due to the contentious place of slavery in the history of the United States. When Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell issued a proclamation resurrecting Confederate History Month in 2010, controversy arose due to the proclamation's omission of slavery. McDonnell later announced, "The proclamation issued by this Office designating April as Confederate History Month contained a major omission. The failure to include any reference to slavery was a mistake, and for that I apologize to any fellow Virginian who has been offended or disappointed. The abomination of slavery divided our nation, deprived people of their God-given inalienable rights, and led to the Civil War. Slavery was an evil, vicious and inhumane practice which degraded human beings to property, and it has left a stain on the soul of this state and nation.". McDonnell has indicated that he will not issue a proclamation in future years. In 2007, the Virginia General Assembly approved a formal statement of “profound regret” for the Commonwealth’s history of slavery.
On April 11, 2010, Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour defended McDonnell on CNN's State of the Union, calling the controversy raised by McDonnell's proclamation "just a nit". "It's trying to make a big deal out of something that doesn't matter for diddly," Barbour said. Unlike the Virginia proclamation, the 2010 Alabama proclamation noted, "our recognition of Confederate history also recognizes that slavery was one of the causes of the war, an issue in the war, was ended by the war and slavery is hereby condemned."
- Glanton, Dahleen (22 March 2009). "Southerners share confederate history". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 19 November 2010.
- Walker, Katherine (September 2008). "United, Regardless, and a Bit Regretful: Confederate History Month, the Slavery Apology, and the Failure of Commemoration". American Nineteenth Century History 9 (3): 315–338. doi:10.1080/14664650802288431. ISSN 1466-4658.
- Confederate history month rises again - Washington Times
- Times Dispatch Staff (7 April 2010). "McDonnell statement on omission of slavery in confederate history proclamation". Richmond Times Dispatch.
- Craig, Tim (3 February 2007). "In Va. House, 'Profound Regret' on Slavery". The Washington Post.
- Belenky, Alexander (11 April 2010). "Haley Barbour Defends Bob McDonell's Confederate History Proclamation, Slavery Omission (VIDEO)". Huffington Post.
- "Confederate History and Heritage Month". March 22, 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-12.
- Berlin, Ira (March 2004). "American Slavery in History and Memory and the Search for Social Justice". The Journal of American History 90 (4): 1251–1268. doi:10.2307/3660347. JSTOR 3660347.
- Horton, James Oliver (Autumn 1999). "Presenting Slavery: The Perils of Telling America's Racial Story". The Public Historian 21 (4): 19–38. JSTOR 3379471.
- Virginia's Split Personality On The Confederacy - audio report by NPR
- If You Think the Civil War Ever Ended, Think Again by Adele Stan, Alternet
- Rebel Yell: Virginia's declaration of April as Confederate History Month by Newsweek magazine