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At the end of the Civil War, people began placing flowers, wreaths and crosses on the graves of the fallen. Retired Major General Jonathan A. Logan organized a one day event to honor those soldiers who survived the war—they called it Decoration Day. Logan later issued a proclamation that May 30, 1868 should be designated as Memorial Day and in 1971, President Richard Nixon declared Memorial Day a federal holiday to be observed on the last Monday in May.
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