By Pat Atchison
Memorial Day, or Decoration Day as it was then called, was first widely observed in the United States on May 30, 1868. The original intent was to honor the Union soldiers killed during the Civil War by decorating their gravesites.
Decoration Day was not mentioned in the local newspaper until May 27,1881. That brief announcement stated, "Next Monday will be Decoration Day, and it is to be generally observed in the States." Tuesday's edition said simply "Yesterday was Decoration Day."