Batesville, In. — Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in military service for the United States.
Many cities have laid claim to have begun Memorial Day, though President Lyndon Johnson officially declared Waterloo N.Y. as the birthplace of Memorial Day in May 1966.
While there is some dispute as to the origin of the day, the first was observed on May 30, 1868, under proclamation by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic. The first official observation involved placing flowers on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
By 1890, it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war).
Memorial Day was celebrated on May 30 up to 1971 when the National Holiday Act of 1971, designated the last Monday in May to be Memorial Day.