Michigan claims to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. But history says not so fast.

May 30, 2018

The United States couldn't always agree on how and when to honor fallen veterans.
Credit Brittany ⎈ Colette / Unsplash

For many people Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer. But its official purpose is to remember and honor those who gave their lives while serving in the military.

Michigan is one of many states that lays claim to being the birthplace of the national holiday. However, like so many things in our nation’s past, Memorial Day stirred up controversy when it was created after the Civil War. 

Rachel Clark, an education specialist with the Michigan History Center, joined Stateside to discuss the holiday’s contentious beginnings, Michigan’s original Decoration Day, and its official establishment as a national holiday in 1971.

Listen above.

This segment is produced in partnership with the Michigan History Center.

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