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Memorial Day Facts and Gift Ideas


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  • Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day.
  • Decoration Day was suggested by General John A Logan, leader of a civil war veterans’ association. The first Decoration Day was held on 30th May, 1868. The reason for this choice was that no battle had taken place on this day.


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  • Today’s participants would have recognized some of the common celebrations of Memorial Day. One the first ever Decoration Day, there were speeches and soldiers’ graves were decorated.
  • By 1890, each northern state was marking Decoration Day as an official state holiday; celebrations took place on different days in the southern states.


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  • The origins of Memorial Day go back to the Civil War, when more lives were lost than in any other war in US history.
  • Waterloo, New York, which held its first celebrations of the day in 1866, was named the birthplace of Memorial Day by the federal government.


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  • Decoration Day evolved into Memorial Day and was gradually extended to include all American military personnel who had died in different wars.
  • Memorial Day was celebrated on May 3oth for almost a century. The date changed to the last Monday in May following the passing of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968.


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  • The day became a federal holiday in 1971.
  • Some of the biggest Memorial Day parades are in Washington, D.C. Chicago and New York.


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  • Poppy wearing originates with John McCrae’s In Flanders Fieldspoem.
  • An additional observance on Memorial Day is the moment of remembrance, a minute of silence at 3PM local time on Memorial Day. This became law in 2000.


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