Monday, May 30, 2005

Decoration Day

Today is Memorial Day, which was originally known as Decoration Day, it being a day set aside to decorate the graves or our war dead.

The first to establish the practice apparently were some ladies in Mississippi sometime between 1865 and 1867, who decorated the graves of the Confederate dead. In 1868 the Grand Army of the Republic established May 30th as Decoration Day for the Federal dead. After World War I it became a day to recognize all American war dead. Eventually, the name Decoration Day was replaced by Memorial Day, and in 1971 Congress set the date as the last Monday in May.

The day set aside as Confederatre Decoration Day varies from state to state. In Kentucky, Louisiana, and Tennessee, the date is set by law as this Friday, June 3rd, the birthday of President Jefferson Davis.


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