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Personal freedom, political liberty, and free speech - defended by force of arms, if necessary. Welcome to "The Resistance Library" from Ammo.com, where we believe that arming our fellow Americans – both physically and philosophically – helps them fulfill our Founding Fathers' intent with the Second Amendment: To serve as a check on state power.

May 25, 2020

The unofficial start of summer. Burgers and barbecues. A day to honor those who gave the ultimate sacrifice. On this episode of the Resistance Library Podcast, Dan and Sam discuss Memorial Day.
 
The history of Memorial Day is one of controversy, and many don't know the true origins of this American holiday. 
 
In 1966, President Lyndon Baines Johnson declared there to be an “official” first celebration of Memorial Day. The resolution stated that the first Memorial Day was in 1866, in Waterloo, New York, celebrated at the behest of druggist Henry C. Welles and county clerk John B. Murray. This “official” foundation story of Memorial Day has largely been discredited as a myth. 25 towns currently claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day.
 
More attested to as the first Memorial Day celebration in the North is the May 5, 1868, proclamation by General John A. Logan calling for a nationwide “Decoration Day.” He simply adopted the previously existing ceremonies of the American South and transplanted them to the Northern States. The first Memorial Day celebrated in the North took place on May 30, 1868. It is said that the date was chosen because it did not align with any particular battle, thus neither side could be seen as engaging in triumphalism.
 
The new holiday spread like wildfire throughout the Northern states. In the first year of the official Memorial Day, 27 states observed ceremonies in 127 cemeteries. This ballooned to 336 cemeteries by the next year. In 1871, Michigan became the first state after the original 27 to make it an official holiday. By 1890, it was an official holiday in every Northern state. The popularity of the holiday led to the reinterment of almost 300,000 Northern war dead in national cemeteries.
 
A new American mythology arose because of the celebration of this new holiday. For example, German and Irish Americans who had participated in the war were considered to be “Americans by blood” due to their sacrifice. There were honest and open discussions of wartime atrocities. The purpose of these discussions was to provide context for the war and what was gained as well as what was lost, not merely sulking around in unpleasant memories.
 
You can read Sam’s full article “Memorial Day: The Forgotten History of America’s Memorial Day and What It Commemorates” in Ammo.com’s Resistance Library.
 
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