Memorial Day is Monday. Most Americans don’t realize that the holiday would not exist without the Confederacy. In fact, the first Memorial Day was held in Columbus, GA in 1866 to honor Confederate dead. It spread across the South and was later co-opted by Union veterans in 1868. The holiday was often seen as a time of reconciliation. With Confederate symbols and monuments under attack, it would be a good time to learn a bit of the history of the holiday.