May 30th is Memorial Day this year.
Readying floral tributes on May 30, 1899.
May 30th was the traditional day for a century or so for what used to be called Decoration Day.
Decoration Day began shortly after the Civil War with local ceremonies decorating the graves of Civil War soldiers with spring flowers. Many of the veteran's associations and the ladies' auxiliary associations dedicated themselves to memorializing the war dead with parades, speeches and floral tributes.
The GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) was the Union Veteran's Group that did much to promote a national decoration day, North and South.
Decoration Day in New York City
May 30, 1884
French soldiers joined the Americans so French flags hang from the windows near Union Square.
Hanging a flag, 1914.
As the generation that fought the Civil War aged, the meaning of the day changed.
President William Howard Taft reviewing a parade in the teens.
When America entered World War I in 1917 the name Memorial Day came into common use and the May 30th ceremonies honored soldiers who'd fought in any American wars.
A poster from the 1930s
In 1967 the U.S. Congress changed the official date for the officially named Memorial Day to the last Monday of May. The Uniform Holidays Bill went into effect in 1971.
People in different regions celebrate the day in different ways. Many use the day to clean cemeteries, prune plants there and leave memorials to deceased friends and families. Parades and speeches honor soldiers now serving as well as veterans, and those killed in the wars.
The United Daughters of the Confederacy at Arlington National Cemetery in 1924
This photo and those above are from the Library of Congress. The postcards are from online auctions.