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Civil War Lecture: Origins and Meanings of Decoration Day

May 28, 2021 @ 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EDT


Presented by John V. Quarstein, director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center

Advance registration is required.

Join us for a virtual lecture with author and historian John V. Quarstein, director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center. Quarstein will give a presentation on the origins of Decoration Day, and how it evolved into a national holiday honoring the men and women who died while serving in the US military. Viewers are welcome to send any comments or questions to John, and he will answer them following his talk.

About the lecture:
When the Civil War ended, veterans and citizens in both the North and South recognized the need to honor those who perished during that bloody conflict. Memorial Day appears to have begun by 1865 in Southern states such as Georgia, Virginia, and South Carolina. Celebrated on various dates in May and June, ladies would lay flowers upon the graves of the fallen. The Grand Army of the Republic commander, Major General John A. Logan, ordered on May 5, 1868, that Union soldiers’ graves be strewn with flowers every May 30, and the date would be known as “Decoration Day.” These events everywhere became very solemn and honorable. As the United States became involved in other wars, these veterans’ graves also required recognition, which resulted in Memorial Day’s formal establishment in 1971 as a national holiday commemorated the last Monday in May.

Civil War Lecture:
Origins and Meanings of Decoration Day: How Memorial Day was Created
May 28 • 12 p.m. (ET)

Image credit: Celebration of the first official Decoration Day at the Old Amphitheater, Arlington Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, May 30, 1873. Stereograph. John F. Jarvis, photographer. Courtesy of Library of Congress. 
John Quarstein

John V. Quarstein
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Pre-registration is required.

For additional assistance, questions or support, please contact us at: [email protected].

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May 28, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EDT


The Mariners’ Museum
100 Museum Drive
Newport News, VA 23606 United States
(757) 596-2222