Memorial Day originated in 1868, when Union General John A. Logan designated a day in which the graves of Civil War soldiers would be decorated. Known as Decoration Day, the holiday was changed to Memorial Day within twenty years, becoming a holiday dedicated to the memory of all war dead. It became a federal holiday in 1971, and is now observed on the last Monday in May. Source: Fact Monster Got an interesting Fast Fact for a business audience? Please send and share it with our 1,653 subscribers. Click here to subscribe to Read|Delete and receive fast facts delivered weekly. firstname.lastname@example.org | 301.575.0332 | Biz Tek Today You can also connect with Offit Kurman via Facebook, Twitter,Google+,YouTube, and LinkedIn.