8 Things You Should Know About Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day in the US. For many, it signals the beginning of the ‘summer’ season (and the ability to wear white pants without getting grief from your mother, in many cases). It also means that most everyone has the day off and is enjoying it with some leisure time, and not by sitting at their computer reading Edudemic. The handy infographic below takes a look at some interesting facts and figures about Memorial Day. So enjoy a leisurely day, and keep reading to learn more!

Memorial Day Facts and Figures

  • Memorial Day was established after the Civil War by Union Veterans and was originally named Decoration Day
  • It was first celebrated in 1868 at Arlington National Cemetary
  • Waterloo, NY is thought to be the birthplace of Memorial Day
  • It was established as an official holiday in 1971
  • It is now celebrated on the last Monday in May each year
  • Memorial Day pays tribute to the soldiers who lost their lives in wars from the American Revolution to the present
  • There have been over 1,196,793 war casualties as of the creation of this graphic
  • There are 6,900 burials at Arlington National Cemetary annually

memorial day


  1. Raymond Rosr

    May 25, 2014 at 3:36 pm

    What about this history?
    The first widely publicized observance of a Memorial Day-type observance after the Civil War was in Charleston, South Carolina, on May 1, 1865. During the war, Union soldiers who were prisoners of war had been held at the Charleston Race Course; at least 257 Union prisoners died there and were hastily buried in unmarked graves.[12] Together with teachers and missionaries, black residents of Charleston organized a May Day ceremony in 1865, which was covered by the New York Tribune and other national papers. The freedmen cleaned up and landscaped the burial ground, building an enclosure and an arch labeled, “Martyrs of the Race Course.” Nearly ten thousand people, mostly freedmen, gathered on May 1 to commemorate the war dead. Involved were about 3,000 school children newly enrolled in freedmen’s schools, mutual aid societies, Union troops, black ministers, and white northern missionaries. Most brought flowers to lay on the burial field. Today the site is used as Hampton Park.[13] Years later, the celebration would come to be called the “First Decoration Day” in the North.

  2. Melissa Jones

    May 25, 2014 at 6:37 pm

    I think these facts are great way to remember Memorial Day! Everyone needs to thank the men and women who have fought for our FREEDOM!