New York. Decoration Day, 1868, Lincoln Monument, Union Square. 1876.
Decoration day was a long standing tradition used to remember a families ancestors and a Sunday in spring every year, the graves would be cleaned and decorated. at the end of the CIvil War, which caused the deaths of over 600,000 americans when the population of the entire country was only 31 million, Decoration day became associated more with remembering war dead, and became a Nationally recognised holiday. The name Memorial Day first was used in 1882, and after the Second World War, became the preferred title.
Despite many claims to the contrary, on May 26, 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed a proclamation stating Memorial Day began 100 years before in Waterloo New York.