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Memorial Day, originally known as Decoration Day, is an American holiday observed on the last Monday of May. It honors men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. Memorial Day originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971. Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades. Unofficially, at least, it marks the beginning of summer.

For decades, Memorial Day was observed on May 30, but in 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which establ...



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