Memorial Day

Updated February 21, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

Officially observed on Monday, May 29, 2017

by Borgna Brunner
Tomb of the Unknowns

The Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery commemorates American war dead from the World Wars, Korea, and Vietnam.
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Memorial Day originated in 1868, when Union General John A. Logan designated a day in which the graves of Civil War soldiers would be decorated.

Known as Decoration Day, the holiday was changed to Memorial Day within twenty years, becoming a holiday dedicated to the memory of all war dead. It became a federal holiday in 1971, and is now observed on the last Monday in May.

There is also a Confederate Memorial Day, which is celebrated on various days in spring in some of the southern states.

Special Features

The War Dead



America's Wars

The American Revolution

War of 1812

Mexican War

Civil War

Spanish American War

World War I

World War II

Korean War

Vietnam War

The Persian Gulf War

Afghanistan War

Iraq War (2003–)

The U.S. Military

The History of War


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