Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Waterloo, New York: Birthplace of Memorial Day
Another example of the "every town has its claim to fame" theory of American life.
Waterloo, New York, is a quaint little town in the middle of upstate New York (Seneca County). As you may have guessed by the above picture, it is the birthplace of the concept of Memorial Day.
The idea dates back to just after the Civil War. The good citizens decided to honor those who paid the ultimate price just after the War's conclusion. The May holiday was held over in the late 1860's, and slowly gained momentum until eventually the whole nation celebrated. By the way, President Lyndon Johnson signed a proclamation saying that Waterloo was the official birthplace for Memorial Day.
Waterloo definitely needs to do a little public relations work about this. It's not even listed in the AAA Tourbook.