A Memorial Day History Lesson

Good morning campers; it’s almost Memorial Day and some of you, no doubt, are wondering just exactly what is Memorial Day history. You may want to know how it came about, how it was made official, so on and so forth. So before all of us head off to the lake, here's the scoop on Memorial Day.

Resource for this article: A brief Memorial Day history lesson

Memorial Day history starts with the Civil War

The holiday didn't actually get called Memorial Day for a long time, at least officially. There are differing opinions as to when was the first observance, but what is clear is that days of remembrance were observed instantly following the end of the Civil War, and also the graves of the fallen were decorated. Initially, it was really called Decoration Day, not the most imaginative of names. (We give our holidays such uncolorful names in this country. Maybe some instant money for a study group to come up with better names would be in order.)

Veterans get involved

An observance of Decoration Day on May 5, 1866, within the town of Waterloo, New York got the attention of two retired Army Generals, John Logan and John Murray. John Logan, as it turns out, was the head of the Grand Army of the Republic, a fraternal organization for Civil War veterans. (It became the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War later.) May 5, 1868, they declared they would observe Decoration Day on May 30, and urged others to follow suit. The South, true to form in opposing something that was not horrible and having a mammoth amount of sour grapes, mostly opposed it.

Memorial Day becomes official

The name Memorial Day didn’t become official until 1967. In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill, which moved Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Columbus Day, and Washington's Birthday which later became Presidents Day, to Mondays to make things easy for everybody. Ever since then, veterans groups are trying to get Congress to move it back to May 30 because Mondays are fairly hard to discover on calendars. Memorial Day 2010, will fall on May 31.

Read more on this topic here

Memorial Day


Posted By

Mariss I
Jun 16 2010 10:47


Attached files