Originally called "Decoration Day," Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May to honor those who died while serving in the U.S. military.
Here is what you need to know about Memorial Day and why we celebrate the holiday.
When is Memorial Day
Memorial Day is Monday, May 29, 2023. The holiday always falls on the last Monday of May.
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Is Memorial Day a federal holiday?
Yes. It is one of 11 permanent federal holidays in the U.S.
Why do we celebrate Memorial Day?
Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day and commemorates those who died serving the United States. Though the holiday's origins are not exact, it did start after the Civil War.
In 1868, Gen. John Logan sent out an official order that designated May 30 as a day of remembrance for those who died serving in the Civil War. On the first Decoration Day, 20,000 graves at Arlington Cemetery were decorated, and future President James Garfield gave a speech.
By 1890, all Northern states recognized Decoration Day as a holiday. But Southern states chose to honor those who died in the Civil War on separate days. These differences continued until after World War I, when the holiday changed to honor Americans who died fighting in any war, not just the Civil War.
The Uniform Monday Holiday Act changed the date of Memorial Day from May 30 to the last Monday in May. This act also established President's Day on the third Monday in February (formerly celebrated on Feb. 22) and Columbus Day on the second Monday in October (formerly celebrated on Oct. 12).
Why do we observe Memorial Day? Here's the true history of the holiday
Learn more: 10 historical facts about Memorial Day
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Memorial Day 2023: When is Memorial Day and why do we celebrate?