Remembering Our Honored Dead: A Memorial Day Round Up

The last Monday in May is Memorial Day. Originally known in some parts of the country as Decoration Day, this day provides an opportunity to remember those members of the military who have died in the pursuit of freedom and peace.

Learn more about Memorial Day and how it has been commemorated using the following blog posts from the Library of Congress.

Memorial Day, May 30th.

Remembering Our Honored Dead: Memorial Day Traditions

From Teaching with the Library of Congress, this post discusses the history of Memorial Day, some of the ways it was celebrated and provides teaching ideas to help students learn more about the holiday.

Memorial Day

The Performing Arts Reading Room blog provides links to sheet music collections and suggestions on how to remember fallen soldiers in song.

Decoration Day to Memorial Day from In Custodia Legis

In Custodia Legis from the Law Library provides links to lovely images relating to Memorial Day while also providing detailed information on the history of the holiday and links to the federal laws that codify the holiday. Additional information is available in their Memorial Day post from 2011.

Memorial Day, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Washington, D.C. Carol Highsmith, 2006

Memorial Day’s Rolling Thunder

Many of you may have heard about Rolling Thunder, in which veterans, primarily from the Vietnam War era, come to DC on their motorcycles to honor their fallen colleagues. This post from the Science and Technology Reading Room provides information about Rolling Thunder and it’s purpose. Another post of interest discusses how red poppies became a symbol of remembrance for Memorial Day.

From Decoration Day to Memorial Day

Picture This from the Prints and Photographs division discusses how Decoration Day became Memorial Day and how people marked the holiday with activities as varied as bicycle races to decorating graves with flowers and flags.

Memorial Day and Our Oldest Vets

As we continue to commemorate the centennial of the entry of the United States into World War I, we also highlight this post from the Library of Congress blog that documents the Veterans History Project and one of the oral history projects that collects the stories of some World War I veterans.

Want to learn more? Read Today in History’s Memorial Day presentation. The post includes links to other Memorial Day resources you might use with your students.

Visit all of the Library of Congress blogs and learn more about the collections and the people who work with them.

Mobilizing Diversity During World War I

When the United States entered World War I, it was also grappling with issues related to suffrage, immigration, and social inequality. The country needed the work of the entire populace to fuel its efforts in the Great War, and the nation’s leadership tried to rally all people of the country around the war, urging all to unite against a common enemy. Students can examine primary sources from the Library of Congress to better understand how minority groups were recruited to help support the war effort.

World War I Recruiting Songs: Building the Military with Music

Music is one way to get a message out or to encourage support for a cause, especially during wartime. In the first years of World War I, when the United States was neutral, songs supported the country staying out of the war. After the U.S. entered the war in 1917, songs encouraged or discouraged citizens to enlist and join the battle. Others encouraged those on the home front to support those who were on the battlefield.

Americanism: Two Perspectives Following the First World War

Following the Allied victory in World War I, the United States entered a period of rapid change, experiencing changes both in its stature as a global leader and changes from social experiments, including universal women’s suffrage and the prohibition of alcohol. One widely discussed topic of this time was “Americanism,” the idea that certain unique qualities, traditions, and ideals set apart the United States.