The Memorial Day weekend is almost here and while everybody is getting ready to pack up their clothes and go out of town with their families or friends, we wanted to give you a little something to read to pass the time by. Maybe you’re waiting for your flight to take off or waiting for everybody to pack in the car. Here are 10 facts about Memorial Day.
Memorial Day was initially known as Decoration Day. It didn’t become Memorial Day until after the Civil War. It officially became a federal holiday in 1971.
In 1966, President Johnson and Congress declared Waterloo, New York as the “birthplace” of Memorial Day.
Many people confuse Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day because they both honor soldiers who have served for the country. However, Memorial Day honors soldiers who died while serving and Veteran’s Day honors all military vets who have served.
Memorial Day is always celebrated on the last Monday of May every year.
Every Memorial Day, American flags are flown at half-mast until noon and raised at full mast until sunset.
More American lives were lost in the Civil War than both of the World Wars combined. Roughly 620,000 soldiers died in the Civil War compared to World War I that had about 116,516 soldiers and World War II had 405,399.
The military cemetery, Arlington National, located in Arlington County, Virginia, has over 300,000 soldiers buried there.
Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina and South Carolina celebrate a separate holiday called Confederate Day for the Confederate soldiers that served. This holiday is a month before Memorial Day, on April 27th.
The Vietnam War had a helping hand in Memorial Day becoming a national holiday. In 1968, Congress passed The Uniform Monday Holiday Act, making Memorial Day, Labor Day and Veteran’s Day federal holidays.
When Bill Clinton was in office, him and Congress passed a law in 2000 that requires Americans to stop anything they’re doing at 3p.m. and observe all fallen soldiers.