Memorial Day History

On this Friday before Memorial Day, we wanted to share a few tidbits about the holiday that might be of interest to you.

• Although several towns claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day, in May 1966, Waterloo NY was declared the birthplace of the holiday by President Lyndon B Johnson. In May 1866 residents of Waterloo, NY closed their businesses and decorated soldiers’ graves in observance of Memorial Day.

• In 1868 General John Alexander Logan officially declared May 30 as Memorial Day in honor of the Union soldiers who were killed in the Civil War. It wasn’t until after World War I that the southern states celebrated a separate Memorial Day in honor of the Confederate soldiers killed in the Civil War.

• The holiday was originally established to honor the memory of the Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War and were buried in a National Cemetery. By the early 20th century, Memorial Day became a day to honor the memory of all deceased, whether they had served in the military or not, whether they were buried in a National Cemetery or a church cemetery.

• Memorial Day was formerly called Decoration Day.

• It wasn’t until 1971 that Congress declared Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated on the last Monday in May.

• President Bill Clinton signed the “National Moment of Remembrance Act” on December 28, 2000. This Act designates 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day each year as the National Moment of Remembrance.

Rapport, inc. wishes you all a safe Memorial Day.

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