Today, May 27, 2019, in the USA is the Memorial Day holiday. On this day, a movable Monday national holiday, the USA honors all of those who died defending their country. This observance is “movable” as it is celebrated on the last Monday in the month of May, annually. It has been a movable holiday since Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act on June 28, 1968. Prior to that act, it was observed on different days in May in the different states.
The Memorial Day observance in the USA is also considered by many as the unofficial start of the summer season. Throughout most of the country, it is the day when most outdoor pools begin their daily season and the lodging rates at most public beaches begin their “prime time” seasonal adjustments.
This holiday began in 1868 when it was designated as “Decoration Day” by civil war veterans as a day for decorating the graves of those who had died during that conflict with both flags and flowers. The change in the name of Memorial Day from “Decoration Day” occurred in 1882.
On March 4, 1921, Congress approved the burial of an unknown veteran in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia, in what is now known as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the annual decoration of that tomb with flowers on Memorial Day. This congressional act led to the national observance of this date.