News

Memorial Day Has Illinois Roots

Memorial Day Has Illinois Roots

The national holiday of Memorial Day has Illinois roots.

Decoration Day was first observed in 1866, the year after the end of the Civil War, when widows and other placed flowers on the graves of those who died in the war. Gen. John A. Logan, who served in the war and who also held various political offices in Illinois both before the war (as a Democrat) and after the war (as a Republican) was the speaker at one of the first ceremonies, in Carbondale.

Two years later, Logan was commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, the veterans organization for Union soldiers, and he issued an order establishing Decoration Day – possibly because his wife told him to, says Michael Jones, director of the John A. Logan Museum in Murphysboro.

“I believe that Logan came into the Memorial Day story because of his experience in Carbondale, and because of what his wife said, that he issued General Order No. 11, which would make Memorial Day a national holiday,” he said.

The day of May 30 was selected because of the availability of spring flowers with which to decorate the graves. Decoration Day is now Memorial Day, and it’s a Monday holiday instead of May 30.

 

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment

Want to smell like Tara Reid? No? Well now you can anyway

Fresh
tarareid

Because everyone wants to smell like a B-list star battling sharks in an low-budget sci-fi film, there's "Shark by Tara."

in Music

Def Leppard’s Vivian Campbell gets cancer all-clear – again

Fresh
viviancampbell

The guitarist is cautiously optimistic after tests reveal he is in remission again.

in Music

Rob Zombie starts crowd-funding campaign for killer clowns

robzombie

The rocker/filmmaker wants fans to help him make another horror flick.