Memorial Day

Memorial Day (previously but now seldom called Decoration Day) is a federal holiday in the United States for remembering and honoring the military personnel who perished while serving in the United States Armed Forces.[1] The holiday is observed on the last Monday of May. Memorial Day was observed on May 30 from 1868 to 1970.[2]

Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day, particularly to honor those who died in military service. Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.

Memorial Day is considered the unofficial start of summer in the United States,[3] while Labor Day marks the unofficial start of Autumn on the first Monday of September.

Two other days celebrate those who serve or have served in the U.S. military: Veterans Day, which celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans;[4] and Armed Forces Day, a minor U.S. remembrance celebrated earlier in May, specifically honoring those currently serving in the U.S. military.

Memorial Day
Graves at Arlington on Memorial Day
The gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery are decorated by U.S. flags on Memorial Day weekend in 2008.
Official nameMemorial Day
Observed byAmericans
TypeNational
ObservancesRemembrance of American service members who have died in armed conflicts or served
DateLast Monday in May
2018 dateMay 28
2019 dateMay 27
2020 dateMay 25
2021 dateMay 31
FrequencyAnnual

Claimed origins

The history of Memorial Day in the United States is complex. At Columbus [Georgia] State University there is a Center for Memorial Day Research, and the University of Mississippi incorporates a Center for Civil War Research that has also led research into Memorial Day's origins[5].

1870DecorationDayStPaulMNphotoCharlesZimmerman
1870 Decoration Day parade in St. Paul, Minnesota

The practice of decorating soldiers' graves with flowers is an ancient custom.[6] Soldiers' graves were decorated in the U.S. before[7] and during the American Civil War.

Precedents in the South

According to the United States Library of Congress website, "Southern women decorated the graves of soldiers even before the Civil War’s end. Records show that by 1865, Mississippi, Virginia, and South Carolina all had precedents for Memorial Day."[8] The earliest Southern Memorial Day celebrations were simple, somber occasions for veterans and their families to honor the dead and tend to local cemeteries.[9] In following years, the Ladies Memorial Association and other groups increasingly focused rituals on preserving Confederate Culture and the Lost Cause of the Confederacy narrative.[10]

Warrenton, Virginia

On June 3, 1861, Warrenton, Virginia, was the location of the first Civil War soldier's grave ever to be decorated, according to a Richmond Times-Dispatch newspaper article in 1906.[11]

Savannah, Georgia

In 1862, women in Savannah, Georgia decorated Confederate soldiers' graves according to the Savannah Republican.[12]

Charleston, South Carolina

On May 1, 1865, in Charleston, South Carolina, recently-freed African-Americans held a parade of 10,000 people to honor 257 dead Union soldiers, whose remains they had reburied from a mass grave in a Confederate prison camp.[13] Historian David W. Blight cites contemporary news reports of this incident in the Charleston Daily Courier and the New-York Tribune. Although Blight claimed that "African Americans invented Memorial Day in Charleston, South Carolina",[14] in 2012, he stated that he "has no evidence" that the event in Charleston inspired the establishment of Memorial Day across the country.[15] Accordingly, investigators for Time Magazine, LiveScience, RealClearLife and Snopes have called this conclusion into question.[16][17][18][19]

Columbus, Mississippi

The United States National Park Service[20] and numerous scholars attribute the beginning of a Memorial Day practice in the South to a group of women of Columbus, Mississippi who held a ceremony on April 25, 1866 in Friendship Cemetery for both Union and Confederate graves.[21][22][23][24][25][26][27] This event is claimed by many to be the first Decoration Day.[28][29]

Precedents in the North

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

The 1863 cemetery dedication at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania included a ceremony of commemoration at the graves of dead soldiers. Some have therefore claimed that President Abraham Lincoln was the founder of Memorial Day.[30]

Boalsburg, Pennslvania

On July 4, 1864, ladies decorated soldiers' graves according to local historians in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania.[31] Boalsburg promotes itself as the birthplace of Memorial Day.[32]

National Decoration Day

On May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan issued a proclamation calling for "Decoration Day" to be observed annually and nationwide; he was commander-in-chief of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), an organization of and for Union Civil War veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois.[33] With his proclamation, Logan adopted the Memorial Day practice that had begun in the Southern states three years earlier.[34][35][36][37][34][38][39]

The northern states quickly adopted the holiday. In 1868, memorial events were held in 183 cemeteries in 27 states, and 336 in 1869.[40]. One author claims that the date was chosen because it was not the anniversary of any particular battle.[41] According to a White House address in 2010, the date was chosen as the optimal date for flowers to be in bloom in the North.[42]

Michigan state holiday

The March of Time, by Henry Sandham
Memorial Day, Boston by Henry Sandham

In 1871, Michigan made "Decoration Day" an official state holiday and by 1890, every northern state had followed suit. There was no standard program for the ceremonies, but they were typically sponsored by the Women's Relief Corps, the women's auxiliary of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), which had 100,000 members. By 1870, the remains of nearly 300,000 Union dead had been reinterred in 73 national cemeteries, located near major battlefields and thus mainly in the South. The most famous are Gettysburg National Cemetery in Pennsylvania and Arlington National Cemetery, near Washington, D.C[43]

Waterloo, New York proclamation

On May 26, 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson designated an "official" birthplace of the holiday by signing the presidential proclamation naming Waterloo, New York, as the holder of the title. This action followed House Concurrent Resolution 587, in which the 89th Congress had officially recognized that the patriotic tradition of observing Memorial Day had begun one hundred years prior in Waterloo, New York.[44] The village credits druggist Henry C. Welles and county clerk John B. Murray as the founders of the holiday. Scholars have determined that the Waterloo account is a myth.[16] Snopes and Live Science also discredit the Waterloo account.[45][46]

Early National History

In April 1865, following Lincoln's assassination, commemorations were widespread. The more than 600,000 soldiers of both sides who died in the Civil War meant that burial and memorialization took on new cultural significance. Under the leadership of women during the war, an increasingly formal practice of decorating graves had taken shape. In 1865, the federal government also began creating the United States National Cemetery System for the Union war dead.[47]

By the 1880s, ceremonies were becoming more consistent across geography as the GAR provided handbooks that presented specific procedures, poems, and Bible verses for local post commanders to utilize in planning the local event. Historian Stuart McConnell reports:

on the day itself, the post assembled and marched to the local cemetery to decorate the graves of the fallen, an enterprise meticulously organized months in advance to assure that none were missed. Finally came a simple and subdued graveyard service involving prayers, short patriotic speeches, and music ... and at the end perhaps a rifle salute.[48]

Relationship to Confederate Memorial Day

Confederate Memorial at Alabama State Capitol Apr2009
Confederate Memorial Monument in Montgomery, Alabama

In 1868, some Southern public figures began adding the label "Confederate" to their commemorations, claiming Northerners had appropriated the holiday.[49][20][50] The first official celebration of Confederate Memorial Day as a public holiday occurred in 1874, following a proclamation by the Georgia legislature.[51] By 1916, ten states celebrated it, on June 3, the birthday of CSA President Jefferson Davis.[51] Other states chose late April dates, or May 10, commemorating Davis' capture.[51]

The Ladies Memorial Association played a key role in using Memorial Day rituals to preserve Confederate culture.[10] Various dates ranging from April 25 to mid-June were adopted in different Southern states. Across the South, associations were founded, many by women, to establish and care for permanent cemeteries for the Confederate dead, organize commemorative ceremonies, and sponsor appropriate monuments as a permanent way of remembering the Confederate dead. The most important of these was the United Daughters of the Confederacy, which grew from 17,000 members in 1900 to nearly 100,000 women by World War I. They were "strikingly successful at raising money to build Confederate monuments, lobbying legislatures and Congress for the reburial of Confederate dead, and working to shape the content of history textbooks."[52]

By 1890, there was a shift from the emphasis on honoring specific soldiers to a public commemoration of the Confederate South.[9] Changes in the ceremony's hymns and speeches reflect an evolution of the ritual into a symbol of cultural renewal and conservatism in the South. By 1913, David Blight argues, the theme of American nationalism shared equal time with the Confederate.[53]

Decoration Day to Memorial Day

By the 20th century, various Union memorial traditions, celebrated on different days, merged, and Memorial Day eventually extended to honor all Americans who died while in the U.S. military service.[1] Indiana from the 1860s to the 1920s saw numerous debates on how to expand the celebration. It was a favorite lobbying activity of the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR). An 1884 GAR handbook explained that Memorial Day was "the day of all days in the G.A.R. Calendar" in terms of mobilizing public support for pensions. It advised family members to "exercise great care" in keeping the veterans sober.[54]

DecorationDayMcCutcheon
"On Decoration Day" Political cartoon c. 1900 by John T. McCutcheon. Caption: "You bet I'm goin' to be a soldier, too, like my Uncle David, when I grow up."

Memorial Day speeches became an occasion for veterans, politicians, and ministers to commemorate the Civil War and, at first, to rehash the "atrocities" of the enemy. They mixed religion and celebratory nationalism for the people to make sense of their history in terms of sacrifice for a better nation. People of all religious beliefs joined together and the point was often made that German and Irish soldiers -- ethnic minorities which faced discrimination in the United States -- had become true Americans in the "baptism of blood" on the battlefield.[55]

In the national capital in 1913 the four-day "Blue-Gray Reunion" featured parades, re-enactments, and speeches from a host of dignitaries, including President Woodrow Wilson, the first Southerner elected to the White House since the War. James Heflin of Alabama gave the main address. Heflin was a noted orator; his choice as Memorial Day speaker was criticized, as he was opposed for his support of segregation; however, his speech was moderate in tone and stressed national unity and goodwill, gaining him praise from newspapers.[56]

The name "Memorial Day", which was first attested in 1882, gradually became more common than "Decoration Day" after World War II[57] but was not declared the official name by federal law until 1967.[58] On June 28, 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which moved four holidays, including Memorial Day, from their traditional dates to a specified Monday in order to create a convenient three-day weekend.[59] The change moved Memorial Day from its traditional May 30 date to the last Monday in May. The law took effect at the federal level in 1971.[59] After some initial confusion and unwillingness to comply, all 50 states adopted Congress's change of date within a few years.

By the early 20th century, the GAR complained more and more about the younger generation. In 1913, one Indiana veteran complained that younger people born since the war had a "tendency ... to forget the purpose of Memorial Day and make it a day for games, races and revelry, instead of a day of memory and tears".[60] Indeed, in 1911 the scheduling of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway car race (later named the Indianapolis 500) was vehemently opposed by the increasingly elderly GAR. The state legislature in 1923 rejected holding the race on the holiday. But the new American Legion and local officials wanted the big race to continue, so Governor Warren McCray vetoed the bill and the race went on.[61]

Civil religious holiday

Remembering the fallen at ANC on Memorial Day 150525-A-FT656-762
The United States Marine Band on Memorial Day

Memorial Day endures as a holiday which most businesses observe because it marks the unofficial beginning of summer. The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) and Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) advocated returning to the original date. The VFW stated in 2002:

Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed a lot to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day.[62]

In 2000, Congress passed the National Moment of Remembrance Act, asking people to stop and remember at 3:00 pm.[63]

On Memorial Day, the flag of the United States is raised briskly to the top of the staff and then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position, where it remains only until noon.[64] It is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day.[65]

Memorial Day Observance in small New England town
Memorial Day observances in small New England towns are often marked by dedications and remarks by veterans and politicians.

The National Memorial Day Concert takes place on the west lawn of the United States Capitol.[66] The concert is broadcast on PBS and NPR. Music is performed, and respect is paid to the people who gave their lives for their country.

Across the United States, the central event is attending one of the thousands of parades held on Memorial Day in large and small cities. Most of these feature marching bands and an overall military theme with the Active Duty, Reserve, National Guard and Veteran service members participating along with military vehicles from various wars.

Scholars,[67][68][69][70] following the lead of sociologist Robert Bellah, often make the argument that the United States has a secular "civil religion" – one with no association with any religious denomination or viewpoint – that has incorporated Memorial Day as a sacred event. With the Civil War, a new theme of death, sacrifice and rebirth enters the civil religion. Memorial Day gave ritual expression to these themes, integrating the local community into a sense of nationalism. The American civil religion, in contrast to that of France, was never anticlerical or militantly secular; in contrast to Britain, it was not tied to a specific denomination, such as the Church of England. The Americans borrowed from different religious traditions so that the average American saw no conflict between the two, and deep levels of personal motivation were aligned with attaining national goals.[71]

Longest observance

Since 1868 Doylestown, Pennsylvania, has held annual Memorial Day parades which it claims to be the nation's oldest continuously running. Grafton, WV has also had an ongoing parade since 1868. However, the Memorial Day parade in Rochester, Wisconsin, predates Doylestown's by one year.[72][73]

Memorial Day poppies

In 1915, following the Second Battle of Ypres, Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, a physician with the Canadian Expeditionary Force, wrote the poem, "In Flanders Fields". Its opening lines refer to the fields of poppies that grew among the soldiers' graves in Flanders.[74]

In 1918, inspired by the poem, YWCA worker Moina Michael attended a YWCA Overseas War Secretaries' conference wearing a silk poppy pinned to her coat and distributed over two dozen more to others present. In 1920, the National American Legion adopted it as their official symbol of remembrance.[75]

Observance dates (1971–present)

Year Memorial Day
1972 2000 2028 2056 2084 May 29
1973 2001 2029 2057 2085 May 28
1974 2002 2030 2058 2086 May 27
1975 2003 2031 2059 2087 May 26
1976 2004 2032 2060 2088 2100 May 31
1977 2005 2033 2061 2089 2101 May 30
1978 2006 2034 2062 2090 2102 May 29
1979 2007 2035 2063 2091 2103 May 28
1980 2008 2036 2064 2092 2104 May 26
1981 2009 2037 2065 2093 2105 May 25
1982 2010 2038 2066 2094 2106 May 31
1983 2011 2039 2067 2095 2107 May 30
1984 2012 2040 2068 2096 2108 May 28
1985 2013 2041 2069 2097 2109 May 27
1986 2014 2042 2070 2098 2110 May 26
1987 2015 2043 2071 2099 2111 May 25
1988 2016 2044 2072 2112 May 30
1989 2017 2045 2073 2113 May 29
1990 2018 2046 2074 2114 May 28
1991 2019 2047 2075 2115 May 27
1992 2020 2048 2076 2116 May 25
1993 2021 2049 2077 2117 May 31
1994 2022 2050 2078 2118 May 30
1995 2023 2051 2079 2119 May 29
1996 2024 2052 2080 2120 May 27
1997 2025 2053 2081 2121 May 26
1998 2026 2054 2082 2122 May 25
1971 1999 2027 2055 2083 2123 May 31

Related traditions

Appalachian Decoration Day

According to the Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English, a Decoration or Decoration Day in Appalachia is "an occasion on which a family or church congregation gathers on a Sunday to place flowers on the graves of loved ones and to hold a memorial service for them. Traditionally this involved singing and dinner on the ground as well as a religious service."[76] Decoration Days for particular cemeteries are held on Sundays in late spring or early summer.[33] Decoration Day in Appalachia has the character of an extended family reunion to which people travel hundreds of miles to clean and decorate graves as well as renew contacts with relatives and others. There often is a religious service and a picnic-like "dinner on the grounds", the traditional term for a potluck meal at a church.[33]

Decoration Day practices are often specific to individual families and can incorporate ritualistic elements.[77].

The cemetery, seen as an integrated whole on or after Decoration Day in the Appalachians, is a compelling panoramic canvas – a strikingly beautiful folk art created by communities together over time. We hope that the words and photographs of our book will convey to others what we experienced attending decorations and visiting Appalachian cemeteries – a sense of the decorated cemetery as a folk art capable of breathtaking beauty and expressing powerfully the deepest values of Appalachian culture. [78]

— Alan Jabbour, What is Decoration Day?, University of North Carolina Blog

Appalachian Decoration Day customs spread and became localized along the routes of nineteenth-century migration pattern westward from the Appalachians. While these customs may have inspired in part rituals to honor military dead like Memorial Day, numerous differences exist between Decoration Day customs and Memorial Day, including that the date is set differently by each family or church for each cemetery to coordinate the maintenance, social, and spiritual aspects of decoration.[79][80][81] Unlike Decoration Days in Appalachia, other suggested origins of Memorial Day all include a focus on honoring military dead.

Liberian Decoration Day

Decoration Day is a national holiday in Liberia, a nation which was settled starting in 1822 by free and formerly enslaved African Americans. Decoration Day was designated a national holiday and set as the second Wednesday in March by an Act approved on October 24, 1916. According to Decoration Day scholar Alan Jabbour, Liberian Decoration Day is the survival of pre-Civil War Decoration Day traditions from the American South and possibly from Southern Appalachia.[82]

It has no trace of the northern Memorial Day’s focus on wartime deaths or the freeing of the slaves. It is about cleaning the graves and honoring one’s ancestors, like the southern Decoration Day that seems to be its source.

So important are Decoration Day traditions that during the Ebola virus epidemic in Liberia it became essential for the Liberian government, the World Health Organization and other medical aid agencies to adapt Ebola protocols to fit within this cultural context: "The prospect of not having a location to visit or a grave to 'clean' by cutting the grass and laying wreaths on the national holiday of 'Decoration Day' was deeply disturbing, as was the idea that unfulfilled obligations to the dead could result in a lifetime of misfortune for the living."[83] In addition to revising protocols for treatment of the bodies of the dead, authorities also created emergency policies affecting the "homecoming" and "false burial" aspects of the Decoration tradition due to large groups people assembling who were at risk of contracting the disease.

Remembrance Day in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Gettysburg national cemetery img 4164
Soldiers National Monument at the center of Gettysburg National Cemetery

Starting in 1868, the ceremonies and Memorial Day address at Gettysburg National Park became nationally known. In July 1913, veterans of the United States and Confederate armies gathered in Gettysburg to commemorate the fifty-year anniversary of the Civil War's bloodiest and most famous battle.[84]

Since the cemetery dedication at Gettysburg occurred on November 19, that day (or the closest weekend) has been designated as a local memorial day referred to as Remembrance Day.[85]

In film, literature, and music

Films

Music

  • Charles Ives's symphonic poem Decoration Day depicted the holiday as he experienced it in his childhood, with his father's band leading the way to the town cemetery, the playing of "Taps" on a trumpet, and a livelier march tune on the way back to the town. It is frequently played with three other Ives works based on holidays, as the second movement of A Symphony: New England Holidays.

Poetry

Poems commemorating Memorial Day include:

See also

United States

Other countries

References

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  2. ^ 36 U.S.C. § 116
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  7. ^ In 1817, for example, a writer in the Analectic Magazine of Philadelphia urged the decoration of patriot's graves. E.J., "The Soldier's Grave," in The Analectic Magazine (1817), Vol. 10, 264.
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Further reading

  • Albanese, Catherine. "Requiem for Memorial Day: Dissent in the Redeemer Nation", American Quarterly, Vol. 26, No. 4 (Oct. 1974), pp. 386–98 in JSTOR
  • Bellah, Robert N. "Civil Religion in America". Daedalus 1967 96(1): 1–21. online edition
  • Bellware, Daniel, and Richard Gardiner, The Genesis of the Memorial Day Holiday in America (Columbus State University, 2014).
  • Blight, David W. "Decoration Day: The Origins of Memorial Day in North and South" in Alice Fahs and Joan Waugh, eds. The Memory of the Civil War in American Culture (2004), online edition pp. 94–129; the standard scholarly history
  • Blight, David W. Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory (2000) ch. 3, "Decorations" excerpt and text search
  • Buck, Paul H. The Road to Reunion, 1865–1900 (1937)
  • Cherry, Conrad. "Two American Sacred Ceremonies: Their Implications for the Study of Religion in America", American Quarterly, Vol. 21, No. 4 (Winter, 1969), pp. 739–54 in JSTOR
  • Dennis, Matthew. Red, White, and Blue Letter Days: An American Calendar (2002)
  • Jabbour, Alan, and Karen Singer Jabbour. Decoration Day in the Mountains: Traditions of Cemetery Decoration in the Southern Appalachians (University of North Carolina Press; 2010)
  • Myers, Robert J. "Memorial Day". Chapter 24 in Celebrations: The Complete Book of American Holidays. (1972)
  • Robert Haven Schauffler (1911). Memorial Day: Its Celebration, Spirit, and Significance as Related in Prose and Verse, with a Non-sectional Anthology of the Civil W. BiblioBazaar reprint 2010.

External links

1985 NBA Finals

The 1985 NBA World Championship Series was the championship round of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s 1984–85 season, and the culmination of the season's playoffs.

The Boston Celtics were looking to repeat as NBA Champions for the first time since the 1968–69 season. The Celtics had homecourt advantage for the second year in a row as they finished the regular season with a 63-19 record while the Los Angeles Lakers compiled a 62-20 record. The Lakers looked to bounce back from the previous year's painful loss to the Celtics in the championship series, and were still seeking to beat Boston for the first time ever in NBA Finals history. Also for the first time, the Finals went to a 2-3-2 format with Games 1 and 2 in Boston while the next three games were in Los Angeles. The final two games of the series would be played in Boston, if required. This change of format came after David Stern had a conversation with Celtics legend Red Auerbach in 1984, who didn't like the frequent traveling between games. The 2-3-2 format would be used until the 2013 NBA Finals, after which the 2-2-1-1-1 format returned the following year.

The Los Angeles Lakers with the help of Kareem Abdul Jabbar and Magic Johnson defeated the Celtics four games to two to defeat the Celtics for the first time in Laker history in the NBA Finals.

It would mark the last time the NBA World Championship Series branding would be in use as the NBA Finals branding would replace it the next season.

The video documentary Return to Glory recaps the 1985 NBA Playoff action.

Confederate Memorial Day

Confederate Memorial Day (called Confederate Heroes Day in Texas and Florida, and Confederate Decoration Day in Tennessee) is a cultural holiday observed in several Southern U.S. states on various dates since the end of the Civil War to remember the estimated 258,000 Confederate soldiers who have died in military service.The holiday is observed in late April in many states to recall the surrender of the last major Confederate field army at Bennett Place on Wednesday, April 26, 1865. The holiday is unofficially observed in most Southern states, and remains an official state holiday in South Carolina, Mississippi, and Alabama.

General Pulaski Memorial Day

General Pulaski Memorial Day is a United States public holiday in honor of General Kazimierz Pułaski (spelled Casimir Pulaski in English), a Polish hero of the American Revolution. This holiday is held every year on October 11 by Presidential Proclamation, to commemorate his death from wounds suffered at the Siege of Savannah on October 9, 1779 and to honor the heritage of Polish Americans. The observance was established in 1929 when Congress passed a resolution (Public Resolution 16 of 1929) designating October 11 as General Pulaski Memorial Day. Every President has issued a proclamation for the observance annually since (except in 1930).

This is separate holiday from the regional holiday in the Chicago area titled Casimir Pulaski Day that commemorates Pulaski's birth on March 4, 1746.

Holocaust Memorial Days

Holocaust Memorial Day or Holocaust Remembrance Day refers to various countries' designated annual day of commemoration honoring the victims, survivors and rescuers of the Holocaust during the Nazi regime

As of 2004, twelve countries observed January 27, the day of the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp, including Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Scandinavian countries. In 2004 Israel designated this date as a mark of the struggle against anti-Semitism.

As of 2004, eleven countries in Europe had chosen dates related to local histories.

January

January is the first month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars and the first of seven months to have a length of 31 days. The first day of the month is known as New Year's Day. It is, on average, the coldest month of the year within most of the Northern Hemisphere (where it is the second month of winter) and the warmest month of the year within most of the Southern Hemisphere (where it is the second month of summer). In the Southern hemisphere, January is the seasonal equivalent of July in the Northern hemisphere and vice versa.

Ancient Roman observances during this month include Cervula and Juvenalia, celebrated January 1, as well as one of three Agonalia, celebrated January 9, and Carmentalia, celebrated January 11. These dates do not correspond to the modern Gregorian calendar

Lubiri

Lubiri (or Mengo Palace) is the royal compound of the Kabaka or king of Buganda, located in Mengo, a suburb of Kampala, the Ugandan capital. The original Lubiri was destroyed in the May 1966 Battle of Mengo Hill, at the culmination of the struggle between Mutesa II and Milton Obote for power.

Memorial Day Miracle

The Memorial Day Miracle is a game-winning three-point field goal by Sean Elliott in Game 2 of the 1999 Western Conference Finals between the Portland Trail Blazers and the San Antonio Spurs at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas on May 31, 1999, Memorial Day.

Memorial Day massacre of 1937

In the Memorial Day massacre of 1937, the Chicago Police Department shot and killed ten unarmed demonstrators in Chicago, on May 30, 1937. The incident took place during the Little Steel strike in the United States.

Peace Officers Memorial Day

Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week is an observance in the United States that pays tribute to the local, state, and federal peace officers who have died, or who have been disabled, in the line of duty. The formal memorial is on May 15, and Police Week is the calendar week in which the memorial falls. The event is sponsored by the National Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) and is implemented by the FOP Memorial Committee. Other events of National Police Week include an annual Blue Mass, Candlelight Vigil, Wreath Laying Ceremony, National Police Survivors Conference, Honor Guard Competition, and the Emerald Society & Pipe Band March and Service. The annual event draws 25,000 to 40,000 law enforcement officers, their families, and other visitors to attend.

Public holidays in Hungary

A number of public holidays and special events take place each year in Hungary.

Public holidays in Russia

The following is the list of official public holidays recognized by the Government of Russia. On these days, government offices, embassies and some shops, are closed. If the date of observance falls on a weekend, the following Monday will be a day off in lieu of the holiday.

Public holidays in Rwanda

This is a list of public holidays in Rwanda. Rwanda observes fourteen regular public holidays.

Additionally, the week following Genocide Memorial Day on 7 April is designated an official week of mourning. The last Saturday of each month is umuganda, a national day of community service, during which most normal services remain closed until midday.

Public holidays in Thailand

Public holidays in Thailand are regulated by the government, and most are observed by both the public and private sectors. There are usually sixteen public holidays in a year, but more may be declared by the cabinet. Other observances, both official and non-official, local and international, are observed to varying degrees throughout the country.

All public holidays are observed by government agencies, while the Bank of Thailand regulates bank holidays, which differ slightly from those observed by the government. Private businesses are required by the Labour Protection Act to observe at least 13 holidays per year, including National Labour Day, but may choose the other observances they follow. If a holiday falls on a weekend, one following workday is observed by the government as a compensatory holiday.

Qingming Festival

The Qingming or Ching Ming festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day in English (sometimes also called Chinese Memorial Day or Ancestors' Day), is a traditional Chinese festival observed by the Han Chinese of China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand. It falls on the first day of the fifth solar term of the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar. This makes it the 15th day after the Spring Equinox, either 4 or 5 April in a given year. During Qingming, Chinese families visit the tombs of their ancestors to clean the gravesites, pray to their ancestors, and make ritual offerings. Offerings would typically include traditional food dishes, and the burning of joss sticks and joss paper. The holiday recognizes the traditional reverence of one's ancestors in Chinese culture.

The Qingming Festival has been observed by the Chinese for over 2500 years. It became a public holiday in mainland China in 2008. In Taiwan, the public holiday was in the past observed on 5 April to honor the death of Chiang Kai-shek on that day in 1975, but with Chiang's popularity waning, this convention is not being observed. A similar holiday is observed in the Ryukyu Islands, called Shīmī in the local language.

In mainland China, the holiday is associated with the consumption of qingtuan, green dumplings made of glutinous rice and Chinese mugwort or barley grass. A similar confection called caozaiguo or shuchuguo, made with Jersey cudweed, is consumed in Taiwan.

Robert E. Lee Day

Robert E. Lee Day, also called Lee's Birthday, is a public holiday commemorating the birth of Robert E. Lee, observed each year on the third Monday in January. Because Lee was the General in Chief of the Armies of the Confederacy, it is mainly observed in the U.S. South, particularly in Alabama and Mississippi.Although Lee's actual birthdate, January 19, 1807, remains a legal holiday in the Florida statute books,celebrated every year on that day, by and large it is not observed. In Alabama and Mississippi, it is celebrated together with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Arkansas combined the observance of Robert E. Lee Day with Martin Luther King, Jr. Day in 1985, after two years of requiring state employees to select between the two holidays or their own birthday as a day off from work. In 2017, it passed a law removing General Lee's name from the January holiday and instead establishing a state memorial day on the second Saturday of October in honor of Lee.

Stephen Foster Memorial Day

Stephen Foster Memorial Day is a United States Federal Observance Day observed on January 13. According to 36 U.S.C. § 140, Stephen Foster Memorial Day celebrates the life of American songwriter Stephen Foster. The date commemorates date that Foster died. The law took effect on November 2, 1966, and the day was first observed in January 1967.

Veterans Day

Veterans Day (originally known as Armistice Day) is a federal holiday in the United States observed annually on November 11, for honoring military veterans, that is, persons who have served in the United States Armed Forces. It coincides with other holidays including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day which are celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I. Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. At the urging of major U.S. veteran organizations, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.

Veterans Day is distinct from Memorial Day, a U.S. public holiday in May. Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day honors those who have died while in military service. There is another military holiday, Armed Forces Day, a minor U.S. remembrance that also occurs in May, which honors those currently serving in the U.S. military.

Yom HaZikaron

Yom HaZikaron (Hebrew: יוֹם הַזִּכָּרוֹן‎, lit. 'Memorial Day'), in full Yom HaZikaron LeHalalei Ma'arakhot Yisrael ul'Nifge'ei Pe'ulot HaEivah (Hebrew: יוֹם הזִּכָּרוֹן לַחֲלָלֵי מַעֲרָכוֹת יִשְׂרָאֵל וּלְנִפְגְעֵי פְּעוּלוֹת הָאֵיבָה‎, lit. 'Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism'), is Israel's official remembrance day, enacted into law in 1963. While Yom HaZikaron has been traditionally dedicated to fallen soldiers, commemoration has also been extended to civilian victims of terrorism.

Current
Proposed
United States Holidays, observances, and celebrations in the United States
January
January–February
February
American Heart Month
Black History Month
February–March
March
Irish-American Heritage Month
National Colon Cancer Awareness Month
Women's History Month
March–April
April
Confederate History Month
May
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month
Jewish American Heritage Month
June
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and
Transgender Pride Month
July
July–August
August
September
Prostate Cancer Awareness Month
September–October
Hispanic Heritage Month
October
Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Disability Employment Awareness Month
Filipino American History Month
LGBT History Month
October–November
November
Native American Indian Heritage Month
December
Varies (year round)

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