Today didn’t become Memorial Day until 1967. In my parent’s home it was always Decoration Day. We picked spring flowers and drove to the two different cemeteries where both sides of the families were buried. Decoration Day was always May 30. No matter what day of the week, it was May 30th.
One year after the official name title, 1968, the Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. We made the 3-day Holiday thing happen. Four Mondays were named and it started in 1971.
Memorial Day (from May 30 to Last Monday in May)
Washington’s Birthday (from February 22 to third Monday in February)
Veteran’s Day (from Nov 11 to fourth Monday in October)
Columbus Day (from Oct 12 to second Monday in October)
All kinds of griping, pissing and moaning started immediately.
Businesses did not want two 3-day holidays in October.
So, in 1978, Veteran’s Day was moved back to November 11.
Then came the ranting and raving about the February celebration, George’s BD party. Many started yelling, “What about Abe? What about Abe?”
Many yelled but few did anything about it. In fact the official United States name for the February Holiday is George Washington’s Birthday.
Illinois said, Hell No! So they declared a holiday on Lincoln’s birthday also, February 12, no matter which day it falls. Alabama said to hell with Honest Abe, What about Tom? So the holiday is called “Washington and Jefferson Day.” (Even though Jefferson was born on April 13)
In Virginia it is just called “George Washington’s Birthday.”
Then there are a dozen states that call the day Presidents Day. Most of them, like I did, do not put an apostrophe in the word Presidents. States honor all the past Presidents. Some declare it is just honoring Washington and Lincoln.
Basically we don’t know what the hell we’re doing on that day…except having some great Presidents Day Sales.
Changing Memorial Day to a 3-day holiday was not well received by many. The Veterans of Foreign wars (VFW) have long advocated moving it back to May 30. Also Senator Daniel Inouye from Hawaii, introduced a bill to move it back to May 30 in 1987. He re-introduced the same bill every year til he died in 2012.
You knew I would finally get around to talking about the Columbus Day celebration. My blood pressure is already rising just typing that bastard’s name. I can’t do it.
This is a wonderful holiday to celebrate our military who gave the ultimate sacrifice and our families who are no longer with us.
I already did a rant three years ago about Christopher Columbus and Why Oh Why we would ever celebrate such a despicable character from the past. If you’d like to read it, here it is “Christopher Columbus”
Have a wonderful day.