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Memorial Day



  • Memorial Day's controversial history explained

    No one is sure how the holiday started, and people debate how it should be celebrated, but it still honors those who lost their lives in service of their country.



  • Lost in the Past

    by Timothy Egan

    Ask a high school senior what the Great War was all about and you’re likely to get a shrug or a stab based on a recent episode of “Game of Thrones.”



  • Ben Alpers: A Memorial Day Thought on David M. Kennedy

    Benjamin Alpers received his PhD in history from Princeton University in 1994. He joined the faculty of the Honors College at the University of Oklahoma in 1998.In today’s New York Times, retired Army Lieutenant General and former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry and the historian David Kennedy published an op-ed entitled “Americans and Their Military, Drifting Apart.” Eikenberry and Kennedy identify a very real problem: the increasing social distance between our increasingly high-tech, all-volunteer military and the rest of American society.   Today’s military, they argue, presents “a disurbingly novel spectacle”:

  • Who Invented Memorial Day?

    by Jim Downs

    "Contrabands at Headquarters of General Lafayette," by Mathew Brady, 1862.As Americans enjoy the holiday weekend, does anyone know how Memorial Day originated?On May 1, 1865, freed slaves gathered in Charleston, South Carolina to commemorate the death of Union soldiers and the end of the American Civil War. Three years later, General John Logan issued a special order that May 30, 1868 be observed as Decoration Day, the first Memorial Day -- a day set aside "for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land."