By Faye Gaston

The first Monday in June is a legal state holiday in Alabama, set aside solely to commemorate the birthday of Jefferson Davis, who served as President of the Confederate States of America from 1861-1865.

Alabama was one of the Confederate states in the War Between the States (1861-1865). Alabama state offices are closed on this holiday, and most state courts are closed; city and county offices are closed. Schools and many businesses are closed. In Union Springs, the County Commission office and City Hall were closed.

The Union Springs Planning Commission and Union Springs City Council meetings were moved from Monday, the holiday, to Tuesday. The Senior Citizens Nutrition Center was closed. Heritage/history groups say the holiday keeps Southern history alive.

Jefferson Davis was born on June 3, 1808, in Kentucky. He was a representative in the Mississippi Congress before serving as United States Secretary of War under President Franklin Pierce. He was the unanimous choice of the Confederate Convention for President, taking the oath of office and sworn in front of the Alabama State Capitol building in Montgomery on February 18, 1861.

Montgomery was its first Capitol city. His life-size statue is on the grounds of the Capitol building. The Davis holiday is one of a trio that are uniquely southern holidays that relate to the War Between the States:

1. Robert E. Lee's birthday is marked in January.

2. Confederate Memorial Day in April remembers the thousands of Southern soldiers who died in the War by placing flags by their grave markers.

3. And Jefferson Davis birthday in June.

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