SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) -You’re going hear a lot of numbers as the holiday weekend continues with Memorial Day on Monday. The record for May 27th is 98° set in 1989, but it may be the hottest Memorial Day ever. The Memorial Day record is 101° set in 1898. How can those two numbers and dates be correct?
Well, Memorial Day was only declared a national holiday by an act of Congress in 1971. It was then also placed on the last Monday in May, as were some other federal holidays.
In 1898, Memorial Day in Savannah was held on May 30th and it was most likely called “Decoration Day” as were many memorials around the country.
Three years after the Civil War ended, on May 5, 1868, the head of an organization of Union veterans, the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) established Decoration Day as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the war dead with flowers. Major General John A. Logan declared the day be observed on May 30.