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Trivia about money, jobs, budgets, credit, debt, and anything related to personal finance.

Memorial Day Trivia

*Memorial Day is a United States Federal holiday observed on the last Monday of May. It was formerly known as Decoration Day.

*Memorial Day commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in military service to their country.

*Memorial Day was first enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War (it is celebrated near the day of reunification after the civil war), it was expanded after World War I to include American casualties of any war or military action.

*The first unofficial observance of a memorial day was in 1865 by liberated slaves at the historic race track in Charleston, South Carolina.

*On May 5, 1868, in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, a veterans' organization, John A Logan issued a proclamation that "Decoration Day" be observed nationwide.

*May 30 was selected as the first observation date for Decoration Day because it was NOT an anniversary of a battle.

*On May 30, 1868, President Ulysses S. Grant presided over the first Memorial Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery -- which, until 1864, was Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's plantation.

*On June 28, 1968, the United States Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill, which moved three holidays from their traditional dates to a specified Monday in order to create a convenient three-day weekend.

*On the Sunday before Memorial Day, Girl and Boy Scouts place candles on each of the over 15,000 graves at Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.

*Flags are flown at half-staff until noon on Memorial Day, then raised to the top of the staff.

*On Memorial Day weekend in 1988, 2,500 motorcyclists rode into Washington, D.C., for the first Rolling Thunder rally to draw attention to Vietnam War soldiers still missing in action or prisoners of war. By 2002, the numbers had swelled to 300,000 bikers, many of them veterans. There may have been a half-million participants in 2005 in what organizers bluntly call "a demonstration -- not a parade."

*Several Southern states continue to set aside a day for honoring the Confederate dead, which is usually called Confederate Memorial Day: Alabama: fourth Monday in April; Georgia: April 26; Louisiana: June 3; Mississippi: last Monday in April; North Carolina: May 10; South Carolina: May 10; Tennessee (Confederate Decoration Day): June 3; Texas (Confederate Heroes Day): January 19; Virginia: last Monday in May.

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