Though summer doesn’t start till June 21st, many people celebrate Memorial Day as the unofficial first day of summer. But Memorial Day is about a lot more than hot dogs and hamburgers.
Union General, John A. Logan, declared May 30, 1868 an occasion to decorate the graves of Civil War soldiers. He called it Decoration Day (later changed to Memorial Day). In 1950, President Harry S. Truman issued a proclamation calling on Americans to observe the holiday as a day of prayer for peace. President Richard M. Nixon declared Memorial Day a federal holiday in 1971. Now, we observe Memorial Day on the last Monday of May and honor the men and women of the U.S. military who died in American wars.
This video from PBS Learning Media will teach you more about Memorial Day.