Memorial Day Facts
Take a look at these interesting pieces of information on Memorial Day and know the holiday better.
- Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic.
- Memorial Day was first observed on 30 May 1868 when a special ceremony was held at the Arlington National Cemetery where flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers.
- Memorial Day was originally known as "Decoration Day". The alternative name of "Memorial Day" was first used in 1882.
- According to the "National Moment of Remembrance" resolution, passed on Dec 2000, all Americans are expected to "voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a Moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to 'Taps'" at 3 p.m. local time, on Memorial Day.
- It was Moina Michael who conceived of the idea to wear red poppies on Memorial day in honor of those who died serving the nation during war. She was the first to wear one, and sold poppies to her friends and co-workers with the money going to benefit servicemen in need.
- Memorial Day is usually observed in the United States on the last Monday of May.
- Memorial Day was first enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War, but its scope was expanded after World War I to include all U.S. men and women who died while in the military service.
- The National Memorial Day Concert takes place on the west lawn of the United States Capitol and is broadcasted every year on PBS and NPR.
- Waterloo in New York was given an official recognition as the birthplace of Memorial Day on May 26, 1966, when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a proclamation declaring the same.