As a federal holiday, Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday in May in accordance with the National Holiday Act. While it has come to be considered the unofficial start of summer, it has much deeper historical significance.

Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, began after the American Civil War as a ceremonial way to remember the soldiers who gave their lives for the country. The first official Memorial Day was celebrated May 30th, 1868. It was a day where Americans would tend to the graves of soldiers and decorate them with flowers in remembrance. There were also poetry readings and orations given. The Sheridan Libraries has copies of some orations delivered on Decoration Day in the 1880’s, along with books of poetry written for Memorial Day.

Over the past 150 years, Memorial Day has become a day to honor the people who have given their lives for their country. This year, why not stop by Fort McHenry or Loudon Cemetery for Memorial Day or try this Memorial Day quiz.

For those of you still in the area, please note we will be closed Monday to commemorate the holiday. Our abbreviated scheduled for both buildings will begin Tuesday.

Summer Hours

  • Mon. – Sat., 7:30 A.M. – midnight
  • Sunday, 1:00 P.M. – midnight

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