Our nation will commemorate Memorial Day later this month, and our friends from James A. Garfield National Historic Site offer a timely reminder on the holiday’s origin.
Memorial Day began as Decoration Day, a way to celebrate and commemorate soldiers who perished during the Civil War.
And the keynote speaker during the first national Decoration Day ceremony was Congressman and Union veteran James A. Garfield.
Todd Arrington, site manager at Garfield National Historic Site, discusses the history of Decoration Day and Garfield’s still pertinent speech.
By the way, Garfield Historic Site is hosting a special event this Memorial Day weekend. They will host Pulitzer Prize nominee Brian Matthew Jordan at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 26., Jordan is the author of Marching Home: Union Veterans and their Unending Civil War.
Additionally, our Civil War series continues at noon on Wednesday, June 13, at our Main Branch. The topic will be Burying the Dead: The Aftermath of the Civil War.
By the way, if you’re interested in Civil War history, some other previous talks in our Civil War series can be viewed online in their entirety:
- Prelude to Fort Sumter: The Mexican-American War
- Ambrose Burnside: An Innovator in Firearms & Facial Hair
- Warriors to the White House – Civil War Generals that Became President
- General Winfield Scott Hancock
- the Civil War and the Grand Army of the Republic
- from Civil War to Civil Rights
- political cartooning during and after the Civil War
- the Civil War and USS Michigan