The Best Auto Shipping Service Around
Get A Free Quote NOW
(980) 221-0068

The History of Memorial Day

You are currently viewing The History of Memorial Day
We hope you all have a peaceful day of remembrance this year.
  • Post category:Blogs

This coming weekend is Memorial Day weekend, with the recognized day of Memorial Day being next Monday. This day means many things to different people. To some, it is just a day off. To others, it is the unofficial kick off to summer. For those who honor the true day, it is a day meant to honor and celebrate those who served in the U.S. military, especially those who lost their lives while serving. The celebration of lives lost at war goes back to the Civil War, with the day originally known as Decoration Day. The traditions and celebrations changed over the years until the day we now know as Memorial Day became a federal holiday in 1971. The day is one that fluctuates based on the calendar, following the rule of always falling on the last Monday in May.

The last Monday of May this year falls on May 27th.

The first day that prefaced our modern Memorial Day was in 1868. General John A. Logan of the Union army called for a national day of remembrance of veterans at the end of May. He designated the day as Decoration Day. On that day, which was May 30th, General James Garfield gave a speech at Arlington National Cemetery. There were over 5,000 people present and they decorated the graves of the roughly 20,000 Civil War soldiers buried at the cemetery. Around the rest of the country, particularly in the north since the United States was still heavily divided, other Decoration Day celebrations happened. By 1890, Decoration Day was a state holiday for every northern state. The south all honored their lost soldiers at a different time, until the country was more solidly reunified after World War I.

As the United States got more and more involved in wars, more and more lives were lost. Days continued on to be spent honoring the fallen soldiers, typically always on May 30th as the original Decoration Day was celebrated that day. This changed when the federal government implemented a new law.

Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968.

The law went into effect in 1971. The Uniform Monday Holiday Act established the precedent that Decoration Day, eventually called Memorial Day, would be celebrated on the last Monday of May. This change was made to create a three-day weekend for all federal employees and other businesses who were also closed for the holiday.

Leave a Reply