Today Americans have tried and true traditions for celebrating Memorial Day. But it wasn’t always weekend vacations and BBQs. Memorial Day has come a long way from when it started back in 1868.
Fact #1 Birthplace of Memorial Day
Waterloo, New York was recognized by Congress as the birthplace of Memorial Day although several other towns claim to be the birthplace of this national holiday.
Fact #2 Holiday Founder
Union General, John A. Logan, founded the holiday to honor soldiers that died during the Civil War. The holiday was proclaimed on May 30, 1868.
Fact #3 Confederate Memorial Day
The South has a separate Memorial Day holiday fallen Confederate soldiers. Texas, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama, Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia still celebrate Confederate Memorial Day. The actual day the holiday is observed may vary from state to state.
Fact #4 Not Always Memorial Day
The original holiday was known as Decoration Day because observers would decorate the graves of soldiers fallen during the Civil War.
Fact #5 A National Moment of Remembrance a Legal Requirement
Signed into law by President Bill Clinton, a National Moment of Remembrance has been a legal requirement since December 2000. At 3:00 pm local time Americans should pause to remember those that have served.
Fact #6 36 Million People Will Be Displaced
Well not really, and not really displaced in a bad way. 36 million people will hit the road for Memorial Day mini-vacation. Most will travel at least 50 miles from home.
Fact #7 Memorial Day Monday
It wasn’t until 1971 that Memorial Day was observed on the last Monday of May.
Fact #8 Honoring All That Have Served
620,000 soldiers, both Union and Confederate, died in the Civil War. That is more than died in WWI, WWII, the Korean War, and Vietnam put together, approximately 615,000.
Originally founded to honor Civil War soldiers, today Memorial Day is a day for honoring all those that have served.
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About the Author
Désirée Ávila has called Oakland Park her home for over 31 years. In addition to publishing LivingInOaklandPark.com , Désirée publishes, three other blogs and has been featured in print publications, locally and abroad. Désirée was an award winning teacher for 10 years and has a doctoral level education in Educational Technology. She is currently a licensed Florida Realtor® and is committed to a high-level of professionalism and to helping others with their real estate endeavors through education. Désirée is fluent in Portuguese, Spanish, French and Italian.