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This Day in Georgia History

February 24, 1874

April 26 Became State Holiday

Gov. James M. Smith signed legislation designating April 26 - a date which the act described as “commonly known as Memorial Day” - a state holiday. April 26 was chosen because this marked the day that Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston’s surrender to Gen. William T. Sherman in North Carolina became official. At the time, Georgia was under Johnston’s command, so his surrender meant the end of the Civil War for Georgia.