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When Did Memorial Day Begin?

The last Monday in May is set aside as a federal holiday in the United States to remember those that died while serving in the armed forces. This is now known as Memorial Day. It was first introduced on May 30,1868, as Decoration Day by a veterans group in order to remember the 600,000 soldiers who died during the American Civil War. The practice of decorating the graves of fallen soldiers has ancient roots, but the Civil War seemed to be the catalyst for the widespread practice in the United States. The selection of the last week in May is reported to have been chosen because it's the prime time for flowers to be in bloom. The common reference to the day as “Decoration Day” was slowly eclipsed by the use of “Memorial Day” and made official by federal law in 1967. To conform with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968, Memorial Day was moved from May 30 to the last Monday in May. The observance of Memorial Day is acknowledged by the placing of American flags on the graves of fallen soldiers, civic concerts and parades, and other public events to honor those who died during military service.

There are still plenty of U.S. business holidays to go in 2015. Our handy holiday calendar will make sure you don't miss a single one.