Memorial Day Sesquicentennial

free-vector-poppy-remembrance-day-clip-art_106032_Poppy_Remembrance_Day_clip_art_smallWhile there are competing claims for the exact date and place, today marks the 150th anniversary of the first (or certainly one of the first) official observances of Memorial Day.

On May 5, 1866, a ceremony was held in Waterloo, N.Y., to honor local veterans of the Civil War. Flags flew at half staff, and local businesses closed in observance. In 1966, the U.S. Congress declared this to be the “birthplace” of Memorial Day.

It was first recognized as a federal holiday in 1971, when it was placed on the last Monday in May.


Memorial Day History at U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

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