News

Memorial Day Has Illinois Roots

Memorial Day Has Illinois Roots

The national holiday of Memorial Day has Illinois roots.

Decoration Day was first observed in 1866, the year after the end of the Civil War, when widows and other placed flowers on the graves of those who died in the war. Gen. John A. Logan, who served in the war and who also held various political offices in Illinois both before the war (as a Democrat) and after the war (as a Republican) was the speaker at one of the first ceremonies, in Carbondale.

Two years later, Logan was commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, the veterans organization for Union soldiers, and he issued an order establishing Decoration Day – possibly because his wife told him to, says Michael Jones, director of the John A. Logan Museum in Murphysboro.

“I believe that Logan came into the Memorial Day story because of his experience in Carbondale, and because of what his wife said, that he issued General Order No. 11, which would make Memorial Day a national holiday,” he said.

The day of May 30 was selected because of the availability of spring flowers with which to decorate the graves. Decoration Day is now Memorial Day, and it’s a Monday holiday instead of May 30.

 

Recent Headlines

in Local

State’s ACT Scores Are Close to National Average

Fresh
school_bus

Significance: Illinois is one of only twelve states testing everybody

in Local

Aldermen Want Public Input on Medical Marijuana Zoning Rules

municipalcenter

The public will likely get a chance to weigh in on potential zoning changes as medical marijuana rules take effect.

in Local

Rauner: Fight Over Term Limits is Not Over

Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate businessman Bruce Rauner participates in a Republican gubernatorial candidate debate Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Springfield, Ill. The four Republican gubernatorial candidates said that they’ll be willing to work with unions if elected but differed on how to approach the relationship during a downstate debate that largely focused on pension reform, taxes and just briefly on personal issues that have dogged some of the candidates.

Rauner is publicly calling upon Illinois' appellate and Supreme Courts to approve a term limit referendum

in Local

Some Lawmakers Hopeful School Funding Bill Sees the Light of Day This Fall

manar school funding

Proposal would base funding on need, not student population

in Local

Possibly Armed Man Smashes Bus Window, Runs into West Side Hotel

police_lights

Springfield Police are investigating what they say was an "agitated man" on an SMTD bus.