“The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graces of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land.” – General John A. Logan
In 1868, it was General A. Logan who suggested that on May 30th we honor those who had fallen in the Civil War. May 30th was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle. It was also only the Northern States that chose to honor the fallen on May 30. It wasn’t until after World War I that the Southern States began to honor the dead on this date as well. It was then that the holiday evolved to Commemorate American military who had died in all wars.
It was in 1968 that Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which moved the holiday to the last Monday in May to create the three-day weekend for federal employees. This went into effect in 1971 and declared Memorial Day a federal holiday in the same law as well.
So this weekend as you enjoy time with your family and friends, eat together, and enjoy the freedoms that those who have served in our military have allotted us, take a moment to remember those who have given their lives in their service to our country.