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SECTION 53-5-10. Legal holidays enumerated; state employees. [SC ST SEC 53-5-10]

Historical Notes References Annotations

The first day of January--New Year's Day, the third Monday of January--Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the third Monday in February--George Washington's birthday/President's Day, the tenth day of May--Confederate Memorial Day, the last Monday of May--National Memorial Day, the fourth day of July--Independence Day, the first Monday in September--Labor Day, the eleventh day of November--Veterans Day, National Thanksgiving Day and the day after, and the twenty-fifth and twenty-sixth days of December in each year are legal holidays.

The holiday schedules of public colleges and universities, including technical colleges, shall not be in violation of this section so long as the number of holidays provided for in this section are not exceeded.

State government shutting down on 1st mandated Confederate holiday

Compliance may be issue next year if schools don't close

Wednesday, May 9, 2001

Of The Post and Courier staff

     State government will come to a halt Thursday when South Carolina celebrates its first Confederate Memorial Day as a mandatory state holiday.
     More than 68,500 state workers will have the day off.
     The holiday became law last year when Gov. Jim Hodges signed it as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday bill.
     Only one Charleston-area school district - Berkeley County - will observe the holiday by closing classes for the day. Most other local school districts set their calendars at least a year in advance and say they couldn't adjust in time to give students and teachers the day off this year.
     That apparently is OK with one of the bill's supporters, Sen. Glenn F. McConnell, R-Charleston, although he said if it is not embraced next year, there might be a movement in the Legislature to force it into place with an emphasis on teaching Confederate history.
     "If Confederate Memorial Day is not going to be celebrated the way they would celebrate Martin Luther King's birthday, that's going to create some acrimony between people," McConnell said.
     Charleston County sets its calendar three years in advance, and the holiday is not on the schedule for 2002 or 2003, but that could change. Charleston School Board Chairman Liz Alston said the decision will come down to careful research by the district's administration and school leaders.
     But the idea of mandating the holiday struck a nerve with Alston. The state mandates 180 days of instruction, greater accountability and multiple holidays. "Where is the balance?" Alston said.
     "Holidays are something that people really love, but everyone wants the schools to do everything," she said. "We really need to take a critical look at all we are mandating the schools to do. Everyone is filling up the plates of the students."
     The holiday has been added to the 2001-02 calendars in both Dorchester County's school districts 2 and 4.
     What is still unclear is whether the day will be treated the same as Memorial Day, Veteran's Day or Martin Luther King Day. Berkeley school officials said no history lessons or other observances were planned this week in classrooms. Leaders in both Dorchester school districts said they do not have solid plans yet to alter the curriculum next year.
     But Dorchester 4's Superintendent Mary Rice-Crenshaw said the holiday will be explained in the classroom. "Our children will get the benefit of understanding why the day is being celebrated and why it is important," she said.
     Bill sponsor Sen. Robert Ford, D-Charleston, said he'd like to see the holiday and the Martin Luther King holiday embraced by both black and white South Carolinians.
     "To get along, you have to respect each other's history," Ford said.
     Hodges, who signed the bill last year as part of his support for the King holiday, doesn't plan to issue any statement recognizing the memorial observance. He is scheduled to be in Washington talking with the state's congressional delegation and the National Governors Association, said spokesman Morton Brilliant.
     In Columbia, the House plans to meet and conduct business Thursday, but the Senate, under McConnell's leadership, will take the day off.
     No federal offices are affected by the holiday, which will be marked in Charleston at Magnolia Cemetery in a ceremony held by the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Charleston Chapter No. 4. The event starts at 3 p.m. and will include an address by Randy Burbage of the state Hunley Commission.
     The Sons of Confederate Veterans, the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the Palmetto Battalion plan an observance in Columbia on Saturday. After a 10 a.m. service at Elmwood Cemetery, the group will march to the Statehouse for an 11:45 a.m. memorial ceremony.
     Post and Courier reporter Catherine Lawrence contributed to this story.


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