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Memorial Day


  • Originally published 05/24/2014

    Lost in the Past

    Ask a high school senior what the Great War was all about and you’re likely to get a shrug or a stab based on a recent episode of “Game of Thrones.”

  • Originally published 05/28/2013

    Ben Alpers: A Memorial Day Thought on David M. Kennedy

    Benjamin Alpers received his PhD in history from Princeton University in 1994. He joined the faculty of the Honors College at the University of Oklahoma in 1998.In today’s New York Times, retired Army Lieutenant General and former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry and the historian David Kennedy published an op-ed entitled “Americans and Their Military, Drifting Apart.” Eikenberry and Kennedy identify a very real problem: the increasing social distance between our increasingly high-tech, all-volunteer military and the rest of American society.   Today’s military, they argue, presents “a disurbingly novel spectacle”:

  • Originally published 05/26/2012

    Who Invented Memorial Day?

    "Contrabands at Headquarters of General Lafayette," by Mathew Brady, 1862.As Americans enjoy the holiday weekend, does anyone know how Memorial Day originated?On May 1, 1865, freed slaves gathered in Charleston, South Carolina to commemorate the death of Union soldiers and the end of the American Civil War. Three years later, General John Logan issued a special order that May 30, 1868 be observed as Decoration Day, the first Memorial Day -- a day set aside "for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet church-yard in the land."

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