Monday, May 30, 2011
Memorial Day marks the start of summer and many peoples vacation season. It was started in the eary 20th century to remember the patriots who gave their lives on both sides of the Civil War. In later years it became a way to rememeber others who passed on. From others who gave their lives for our country to family members whom we lovingly remember.
At first it wasn't even called Memorial Day. It began as Decoration Day. It was in 1865 when the North started decorating the graves of fallen soliders. The first known observance of the soon to be holiday was in Warterloo, New York. General John Logan brought it to nationwide attention. General Logan was the Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic. He issued a proclamation that Decoration Day be observed across the nation. The date of May 30th was chosen as it was not the anniversary of any battle.
After that the name slowly changed to Memorial Day. It was first called that in 1882 but it wasn't officially changed till 1967. The next year, 1968, Congress moved it's date to the last Monday of May to give everyone a 3 day weekend. However that law didn't go into effect till 1971.
Part of the celebration seems to have always been family outings and local parades. The oldest known continuously running Memorial Day parade is held in Ironton, Ohio. They have had a parade there every year since 1869. The first parade was in 1868.
Posted by Rick L. Phillips at 12:01 AM