Why Summer Starts with Memorial Day

Memorial Day isn’t the actual first day of summer, that happens about 20 days later on the summer solstice, but it is considered the unofficial start of summer. It’s the first of the summer holidays, the first three-day weekend, and the first time for a great outdoor barbecue. How did Memorial Day become the traditional start of summer in America?

Remembering the Cost of the Civil War

Originally also called Decoration Day, Memorial Day began as a day of remembrance for the soldiers who died in the Civil War. Over 2% of the population of the United States lost their lives in the Civil War, some 650,000 to 850,000 people. Established in 1868, Decoration Day was observed by decorating the graves of fallen Union soldiers. Newly open Arlington National Cemetery hosted early Decoration Day observances. Over the next 10 years, Decoration Day was adopted as a state holiday by several states. In 1889, Congress made Memorial Day a national holiday. For over 130 years, many Americans have enjoyed Memorial Day off from work.

Warm Weather and Longer Days

As the calendar counts down towards the longest day of the year, the weather grows warmer and the days get longer. Especially in the northern United States, the first hints of summer warmth arrive around Memorial Day. It’s no surprise that southwestern cities like Las Vegas often experience their first 100 degree days of the years around Memorial Day. As May ends, it becomes clear that summer is on it’s way. It’s time to put away winter coats, leave the fireplace dark, and head outside to enjoy the sunshine.

A Long Weekend

In 1968, the observance of Memorial Day was moved from May 30th to the last Monday in May. This created a three day weekend families could enjoy together. Combined with the warming weather, Memorial Weekend became the perfect time to have a big family barbecue, visit a National Park, hit the beach, or just relax. For many, it’s time for activities together as a family.

Memorial Weekend at The Boulevard

The Boulevard is the perfect place to spend Memorial Weekend with the family. Experience ocean life up and personal at SeaQuest Interactive Aquarium. Enjoy rides, games, and the endless pizza buffet at John’s Incredible Pizza Company. Come watch our FREE Magic Show, featuring Mystifier Dixie Dooley. Shop Memorial Day Sales throughout our stores.