Memorial Day, a United States Federal holiday, is observed each year on the last Monday in May. On May 25, 2020 we honor and remember all the men and woman who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.
Memorial Day is also a day to remember all loved ones that have passed away.
Traditionally on Memorial Day, the flag of the United States of America is raised briskly to the top of the staff then solemnly lowered to the half-staff position where it remains until noon. At noon, it is then raised to full-staff for the remainder of the day.
When the flag is at half-staff, the position is in remembrance of the more than one million men and women who gave their lives for their country. Raising the flag at noon signifies the nation lives, that the country is resolved not to let their sacrifice be in vain but to rise up in their honor and continue to fight for liberty and justice for all.
Memorial Day is known to mark the beginning of summer. See also National Wine Day.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Attend Memorial Day services in your community. In your own way, pay tribute in remembrance of service members who have died while serving. Use #MemorialDay to post on social media.
Our family typically honors this holiday with a barbecue. We never forget those, some members of our family who have given their full measure of devotion, for the freedoms we enjoy.
Find recipes for great food here. Check back often as we are always expanding the collection. Whether it’s Fall off the Bone Baby Back Ribs, deviled eggs, Cheesecake Fruit Salad, Easy Broccoli Salad, Cucumber Tomato Salad, or something else that you fancy.
If you do fire up the grill you might want to cook a little extra. Not only does it make great leftovers or a full meal, throw on some burgers and a brisket for National Hamburger Day on May 28th and National Brisket Day also on May 28th.
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, 1868. On May 30 Decoration Day was first observed.
General James Garfield spoke at Arlington National Cemetery. Generals Grant, Howard, Logan, Pane, Wool, and Hancock attended the ceremony, and volunteers decorated the graves of 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers.
Across the country, humble tributes occurred on that first Decoration Day. Just outside Fort Stevens near Washington, D.C., there was a small cemetery where 40 soldiers were buried, one of whom belonged to a widow from Northern Vermont. He was one of three sons she lost to the war. On Decoration Day, she went to the cemetery carrying 40 wreaths for 40 graves.
Someone placed a laurel wreath upon the head of a Lincoln statue at City Hall, Washington D.C.
In Cincinnati, Hamilton and Dayton Railroads transported passengers to the Spring Grove Cemetery. Flags were displayed at half-mast along the routes. Floral wreaths were placed on the soldiers’ graves and speeches made. Many of the first Decoration Days recognized only the Union soldiers, though some included the Confederate soldiers as well. Over time, the day grew to include all those soldiers lost during the conflict.
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.
On May 24 we honor the men and women who have worked behind the scenes making and keeping aviation possible. It is Aviation Maintenance Technician Day.
We all know the story of Orville and Wilbur Wright, Kitty Hawk and the experiment of human flight.
How many of us know the name, Charles Edward Taylor? He came to work for the Wrights in 1902 when the research turned to powered flight. The automobile companies couldn’t supply an engine both light enough and powerful enough for flight.
Enter Taylor. A machinist by trade, with a metal lathe, drill press, and other hand tools, he built the 12-horsepower engine which propelled the Wright’s aeroplane 20 feet above the wind-swept North Carolina beach. The longest flight lasted 59 seconds for a distance of 852 feet. It took Taylor 6 weeks to build the engine and yet, history books rarely mention the man who helped make the historic December 17, 1903, flight possible.
Being on the cusp of the aeronautics industry, Taylor continued to design aircraft engines for the Wright brothers as well as teaching them to build their own. When the first airport was established (by the Wrights), he was named the airport manager.
The partnership continued when the Wright brothers were awarded a military contract for the first military plane with Taylor designing and building the engine.
Taylor’s adventures continued in 1911 when William Randolph Hearst offered up a cash award to the first pilot to fly across the United States in 30 days or less. Cal Rodgers, a young pilot, accepted the challenge and hired Charles Taylor as his mechanic.
Rodgers made it, landing and crashing from New York to Pasadena, with Taylor trailing along in a car.
Charles Taylor continued in the field of aviation maintenance for more than 60 years. Like Taylor, aviation maintenance technicians around the world work in the background, keeping civilian and military aircraft safe. On May 24th, we recognize their achievements and humble history.
My dad worked on both civilian and military aircraft. He was so proud when he got his certification. He and several other men in our family keep aviation among the clouds.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Use #AviationMaintenaceTechnicianDay to share on social media.
Through the efforts of Richard Dilbeck, in 2001, the FAA created the prestigious Charles E. Taylor Master Mechanic Award to honor AMTs, who had served at least 50 years in aircraft maintenance. The following year, California Senator Knight introduced a resolution honoring Aviation Maintenance Technicians annually in honor of Charles Taylor’s birthday.
On May 24, National Wyoming Day recognizes the 44th state to join the union.
Also known as The Equality State, Wyoming territory led the nation and the world in granting women the right to vote. In 1869, the Wyoming territorial legislature passed a bill allowing women the right and the governor signed the bill on December 10, 1869. Twenty years later, Wyoming would approve the first state constitution including women’s suffrage. They would be granted statehood in 1870.
In a vast open country where homesteaders had to rely on one another, man or woman, equality had real meaning, true grit.
It’s also a country where massive towers seem to rise out of nowhere mysteriously. Devil’s Tower stands starkly against brilliant blue skies or disappears into the fog. Depending on the day or its mood it can do either, or both. Explore the Native American legends surrounding the creation of the monolith, hike its trails and wonder at its existence.
From Fossil Butte National Monument to Fort Laramie National Historic Site, Wyoming retells history. The state thrills and challenges visitors with its spectacular views in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Join in exploring The Equality State. Visit the towering Grand Tetons and learn about the resilient people who live in Wyoming. Follow the trails of dinosaurs and cowboys! Use #NationalWyomingDay to share on social media.
June Etta Downey – Psychologist – (July 13, 1875 – October 11, 1932)
Jackson Pollock – Artist – (January 28, 1912 – August 11, 1956)
Robert R Wilson – Physicist – (March 4, 1914 – January 16, 2000)
Curt Gowdy – Sportscaster – (July 31, 1919 – February 20, 2006)
Patricia MacLachlan – Author – (March 3, 1938 -)
Solomon Trujillo – Businessman – (November 17, 1951)
Jim Bullock – Actor – (February 9, 1955 – )
Michael Punke – Author – (December 7, 1964 -)
May 18 marks a fun holiday, National No Dirty Dishes Day. This is a day that gives us all a break from the regular daily routine. There are two options for this day. You can eat all meals out. If that is possible, would also be a bonus treat. Or, you can use disposable paper plates, cups and silverware. To stay earth friendly, choose ones that are biodegradable.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Go out to lunch or dinner with friends or have a barbecue and serve everything on paper plates with disposable utensils. Use #NoDirtyDishesDay to post on social media.
On May 17, National Idaho Day recognizes the 43rd state to join the union.
A wave of settlement made its way into The Gem State following in the footsteps of the Corps of Discovery. Miners, traders, and missionaries made their way West into the territory of the Nez Perce, Shoshone and Bannock peoples.
The state is dominated by the Rocky Mountains range. Snake River winds its way through the rugged western border of the state carving the deepest river gorge in North America. Hells Canyon National Recreation Area provides spectacular views of the dramatic landscapes the Snake River took thousands of years to sculpt.
Idaho doesn’t lack scenery. Take any byway, and the next turn will reveal a whole new vista to observe. For example, Craters of the Moon National Monument & Preserve will seem to erupt before your eyes. This vast lava field formed from ancient volcanic activity.
While exploring Idaho, don’t forget to investigate Hagerman’s Fossil Beds. Excavations of these well-preserved fossils have fascinated paleontologists for generations. If there is an equine interest, be sure to study the Hagerman Horse, too!
Beyond the fossils, entire cityscapes of stone appear. The City of Rocks encountered by native peoples, pioneers and modern-day adventurers became a kind of waystation or landmark for those who were westward bound.
Inventors seem to like Idaho. Beyond the list of patents for improvements to printing presses and railroad technology, Idaho is the home of the television. Philo Farnsworth invented the necessary technology that brought the small screen to the mass market.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Explore the byways of The Gem State. Discover the history and people of Idaho. Get inventive and find all the hidden treasures!
Use #NationalIdahoDay to share on social media.
Sacajawea – Explorer and Guide – (May 1788 – December 20, 1812)
Gutzon Borglum – Artist – (March 25, 1867 – March 6, 1941)
Ezra Pound – Poet – (October 30, 1885 – November 1, 1972)
Carol R. Brink – Author – (December 28, 1895 – August 15, 1981)
Joe Albertson – Businessman – (October 17, 1906 – January 20, 1993)
J. R. Simplot – Businessman – (January 4, 1909 – May 25, 2008)
Mark Felt – Investigator – (August 17, 1913 – December 18, 2008)
Lana Turner – Actress – (February 8, 1921 – June 29, 1955)
Harmon Killebrew – Baseball player – (June 29, 1936 – May 17, 2011)
Nikki Sixx – Musician – (December 11, 1958 – )
Picabo Street – Skiier – (April 3, 1971 – )
Each year on the third Friday in May, National Endangered Species Day is an opportunity for everyone to learn about the importance of protecting endangered species, their habitats and the actions necessary to do so.
Every year you can participate along with thousands of others at events to celebrate National Endangered Species Day at wildlife refuges, zoos, parks, community centers, aquariums, botanical gardens, libraries and schools. This year you can tune in, take a virtual tour and explore. The 40th anniversary of the Federal Endangered Species Act was observed in 2013.
Designed to protect critically imperiled species from extinction as a “consequence of economic growth and development untempered by adequate concern and conservation.” The act was signed into law by President Richard Nixon on December 28, 1973.
The Act is administered by two federal agencies, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) United States Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
HOW TO OBSERVE
Use #EndangeredSpeciesDay to post on social media.
Research found the National Endangered Species Day was enacted in 2006 by the United States Senate.
On May 10, National Washington Day recognizes The Evergreen State.
In a ten-day period, President Benjamin Harrison signed legislation growing the nation by four new states. Washington would become the fourth of those and the 42nd state. During his tenure, two more would join the union.
The state’s history is filled with battles for possession over land. Some between countries and others for between individuals. The history of San Juan Island and the battle for its possession started over the death of a pig. While still a territory, Washington came to near blows over an eager settler, a boundary and a potato-rooting English boar. Today it is known as the Pig War of 1859.
Obscure wars aside, Washington’s northwest beauty is dominated by other more earthshattering events and views. Volcanic mountains and rainforests fill the landscape. The Evergreen State’s views of the Pacific Ocean do not disappoint. From whale watching and city life, there is plenty to see and do in every corner of the state.
Some of the most peaceful and quiet places in the United States are found in Olympic National Park. One Square Inch of Silence helps to preserve and hopefully expand these naturally silent spaces on Earth. One location is marked by a single red stone along the Hoh River Trail.
HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalWashingtonDay
Use #NationalWashingtonDay to share on social media.
Troll’s Knoll – Seattle
Treehouse Point – Issaquah
Red Wagon – Spokane
Many parks around the country have playgrounds, but how many have a giant Radio Flyer Red Wagon sculpture? Riverfront Park in Spokane has one that is also the playground. The handle is a slide! The park offers many more attractions, too. Check it out!