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Memorial Day Bits

By Scott Smith in News on May 29, 2006 4:23PM

Chicagoist is taking the day off for Memorial Day. 2006_05_memorialday.jpgIn the meantime, here's some knowledge to drop on your friends and family as they gather around the grill.

Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day is a day to remember those who served in our nation’s armed forces. General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, was the first to officially proclaim the day on May 5th, 1868, and it was observed on May 30th at Arlington National Cemetery. You can thank the 91st Congress for creating a three-day weekend by moving Memorial Day from its traditional day on the 30th to its officially recognized day on the last Monday of May. You can read more about other Memorial Day traditions (like red poppies and the National Moment of Remembrance) here.

In Chicago, Memorial Day has additional resonance due to the incident at Republic Steel when 10 striking workers were killed in 1937.

Schools, post offices, federal buildings and most banks are all closed. There’s no trash pickup today so make sure those garbage bags full of Bud Light cans and half-eaten ears of corn get sealed up at the end of the day. You don’t need to feed the meters today, and the CTA is on a Sunday schedule.

If you’re reading this after just stumbling out of bed, you’re already too late for most of the Memorial Day parades in the area. (No work on Monday means more drinks on Sunday, right?) So relive the experience via this Chicago Memorial Day Parade Flickr set courtesy of indefinitejourney.

Incidentally, you’ve only got two days left to celebrate National Barbecue Month. So get to business.