MEMORIAL DAY DATE, TRADITIONS, HISTORY, AND MORE From Farmers Almanac
MEMORIAL DAY HISTORY
They custom of honoring ancestors by cleaning cemeteries and decorating graves is an ancient and worldwide tradition, but the specific origin of Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as it was first known, are unclear.
After World War I, the day expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars.
In 1971, Memorial Day became a national holiday by an act of Congress; it is now celebrated on the last Monday in May.
Since it all started with the Civil War, you might want to brush up on your knowledge of this event by visiting the Library of Congress Civil War collection, which includes more than a thousand photographs. Go Here for More From Farmers Almanac
THE POPPY, A SYMBOL OF MEMORIAL DAY
The wearing of poppies in honor of America’s war dead is traditionally done on Memorial Day (not Veterans Day). The origin of the red poppy as a modern-day symbol of this day was actually the idea of an American woman, Miss Moina Michael. Read more about the inspiration for the poppy.
In war-torn battlefields, the red field poppy (papaver rhoeas) was one of the first plants to grow. Its seeds scattered in the wind and sat dormant in the ground, only germinating when the ground is disturbed—as it was by the very brutal fighting during World War 1. Go Here for More From Farmers Almanac