Honoring the men and women who have died while serving in the military, Memorial Day has been kept in various forms in the United States since the end of the Civil War. General John Logan called for a nationwide day of remembrance on May 5, 1968. On May 30, Decoration Day was first observed. Volunteers decorated the graves of 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.
Decoration Day gradually became known as Memorial Day and now honors all U.S. military personnel who have died during a military conflict. Memorial Day continued to be observed on May 30 until Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968. Since 1971, Memorial Day has been observed the last Monday of May.