The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) has voted to end its 15-year economic boycott of South Carolina a day after the Confederate flag was removed from the grounds of the state house.
The civil rights group had boycotted tourism and other services in protest at the flying of the Confederate flag.
The controversial flag was removed after a debate sparked by the shooting of nine black people.
The suspected gunman, Dylann Roof, had been pictured holding the Confederate banner.
The flag was the battle emblem of the southern states during the American Civil War but is now seen by many as a symbol of slavery and racism.
Members of the NAACP agreed the move at their annual convention in Philadelphia.
“Emergency resolution passed by the NAACP National Board of Directors at #NAACP106, ending the 15 year South Carolina boycott,” the group said on its Twitter feed.
The Confederate flag was originally placed on top of the South Carolina state house in Columbia in 1961 as part of Civil War centennial commemorations.
However, critics said it was more of a sign of opposition to the black civil rights movement at the time.
The NAACP announced its boycott in 2000 and maintained it even though the Confederate flag was later taken down from the capitol’s dome and placed by a civil war monument in the grounds.
The future of the flag was thrust back into the limelight after nine black people were shot dead in a church in Charleston, South Carolina on June 17 this year.
After a long and fractious debate, a bill calling for the flag to be taken down was signed on July 9 by Republican Governor Nikki Haley.
Relatives of some of the victims attended July 10 ceremony to remove the flag from outside the state house.
Hundreds of people turned out to watch the event, some chanting “take it down” while they waited for the ceremony to begin.
The Confederate flag’s supporters argue that it is an important part of southern heritage.
President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg address – one of the most famous speeches in US history – is celebrating its 150th anniversary on November 19.
An Abraham Lincoln impersonator will read the remarks at the Pennsylvania cemetery where the civil war leader spoke.
President Abraham Lincoln gave his speech more than four months after the Battle of Gettysburg, when Union troops beat the Confederacy, in a turning point for the war.
About 235,000 people commemorated the battle’s anniversary in early July.
Abraham Lincoln gave his speech on November 19, 1863, as he dedicated the Soldiers’ National Cemetery in Gettysburg, where thousands of Union soldiers were laid to rest.
The brief oration, delivered as the nation fought for survival, is admired for having distilled the essence of American ideas on equality, liberty and democracy into just 10 sentences.
As every American schoolchild knows, it begins with the words: “Four score and seven years ago.”
President Abraham Lincoln gave his speech more than four months after the Battle of Gettysburg, when Union troops beat the Confederacy
Civil War historian James McPherson and US Interior Secretary Sally Jewell are due to speak at Tuesday’s commemoration.
The ceremony begins with a wreath-laying event at the cemetery.
There will also be a graveside salute to US Colored Troops at noon, and a tree-planting ceremony in the afternoon.
Abraham Lincoln’s speech, a mere two minutes, envisioned “a new birth of freedom” for America out of the ashes of the war between the southern slave-holding states and the northern states.
“The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here,” Abraham Lincoln said of those who fought the battle, in which as many as 50,000 soldiers were killed or wounded.
“It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.”
The headline speaker that day was actually the former Massachusetts Governor Edward Everett, whose two-hour, 13,000-word monologue has since been all but forgotten.
Abraham Lincoln’s subsequent comments were initially overlooked.
Indeed, a local newspaper, the Harrisburg Patriot and Union, dismissed the address as “silly remarks”.
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