Memorial Day Short History

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in every State on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays)

5 Responses to “Memorial Day Short History”

  1. 1 Lakota May 24th, 2008 at 12:02 pm

    Didn’t know.

  2. 2 rodent May 25th, 2008 at 7:52 pm

    Congrats Cyril, ya learned some of our history. Wish more imigrants legal that is would learn also.

  3. 3 Nicker May 25th, 2008 at 11:42 pm


    Trust me, us “legal” immigrants probably know as much or more US history than many Americans.
    Sadly, it’s been my experience that we appreciate our freedoms more than most born here (who seem to take them for granted).


  4. 4 burnout May 27th, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    I was born here and continue to be shocked at my fellow countrymen taking our freedoms(those we have left) for granted. Thanks guys for caring enough to speak out! peace

  5. 5 Rainbow Warrior May 31st, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    Very nice piece Cyril.

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Cyril Huze