Thursday, May 27, 2010
Memorial Day weekend was first observed on May 30th, 1868. But it was known as "Decoration Day," not "Memorial Day". The holiday was initially a day set aside to remember those who died in the Civil War. "Decoration Day" continued until 1967, when the federal government declared "Memorial Day" the official name.
May 30th continued to be "Memorial Day" until 1971, when a new law moved it to the last Monday in May. Over the years, "Decoration Day" and "Memorial Day" were not without controversy. In the beginning, many southern states did not recognize "Decoration Day" because it was created to mourn those who died from the Union Army, not the Confederate Army.
As time passed, and more wars were fought, "Decoration Day's" evolution into "Memorial Day" became a day to remember all men and women who died serving in the military. If you have a good question, send it to Jeff Herndon at news@KAKE.com. He'll do his best to answer your good question every Thursday on KAKE News at 6.