Memorial Day, originally called "Decoration Day," began as a celebration of the Union soldiers who had fought during the Civil War. But it was not widely celebrated in big American cities until after World War I. The populations of those cities had originally swelled with European immigrants, and the American Civil War held little resonance for them.
Did you know that the name of the holiday was officially changed from "Decoration Day" to "Memorial Day"only in 1967? And it was only in 1971 that Congress officially designated the last Monday in May each year as the date of "Memorial Day," so as to create an annual three day weekend holiday?