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National Archives Commemorates Memorial Day

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NATIONAL ARCHIVES COMMEMORATES MEMORIAL DAY
WITH VIDEO AND PROGRAMS NATIONWIDE

 

Washington, DC. . . To commemorate Memorial Day, the National Archives
today released a
video short and will hold programs at Presidential
Libraries nationwide. 

 

VIDEO SHORT :  MEMORIAL DAY 2015:  WHY IT MATTERS

Timed to the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln’s death and the
upcoming sesquicentennial of the 1866 founding of the Grand Army of the
Republic (the fraternal organization of Union Civil War veterans), the
National Archives today released “Memorial Day 2015:  Why it
Matters.” The video features Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero and National
Archives legislative archivist Rodney Ross.

 

Rodney Ross shows the importance of National Archives records to
everyday Americans through the prism of a single National Archives
document– a page from the muster roll of a Civil War soldier from
Ross’s own hometown of Batavia, Illinois.  This soldier, Union
Private Oscar F. Cooley, was killed during the Vicksburg siege on June
8, 1863.  Ross recounts his Memorial Day memories as a child growing up
in Batavia, and shares an image of a statue from Batavia's West Side
Cemetery inscribed with the names of Batavians, primarily those with the
124th Illinois Volunteer Regiment, who fought for the Union in the Civil
War.

 

Ross speaks at the Grand Army of the Republic Monument on Pennsylvania
Avenue in Washington, DC  just across the street from the National
Archives Building.  This monument honors the sacrifice of Union
soldiers who fought and died to keep the United States of America "a
free and undivided republic."  He explains the origin of Memorial Day,
the holiday originally called “Decoration Day.”  The holiday was
officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868, by General John Logan, himself a
Civil War Union veteran, national commander of the Grand Army of the
Republic, in his General Order No. 11. “The 30th of May, 1868, is
designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise
decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country
during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every
city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. Logan
added:  'Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in
chains and their deaths a tattoo of rebellion tyranny in arms.”  No
longer an “unknown” soldier, in this video, Ross honors fellow
Batavian Private Cooley and his supreme sacrifice.

 

For more information on Batavia, IL, and Memorial Day, see
www.bataviahistoricalsociety.org/depot museum.htm



MEMORIAL DAY PROGRAMS AT PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARIES NATIONWIDE

 

HERBERT HOOVER PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM [4], WEST BRANCH, IA

Monday, May 25 at 2 p.m., front lawn

The Eastern Iowa Brass Band will perform a free concert on the front
lawn.  Related temporary exhibit:  “The Making of the Great
Humanitarian: Herbert Hoover and World War I.”  Learn how the war
dramatically altered the life of Herbert Hoover from successful mining
engineer to “The Great Humanitarian.”  The exhibit includes a
recreated war trench that visitors can walk through.

FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM (FDR LIBRARY),
HYDE PARK, NY

Friday, May 22, 7-9 p.m., Henry A. Wallace Center

The FDR Library kicks off its Memorial Day weekend programming with
its 12th annual USO Show.  This year's family-friendly show features
entertainment including live Big Band music from the 1930s and 40s,
comedy and juggling, historic newsreels, and more. This event is free
and open to the public. 

 

Saturday, May 23, and Sunday, May 24, 10 a.m.­-4 p.m., front lawn

The FDR Library presents historic military displays and a World War II
encampment on the Library's front lawn. The New York Army National
Guard and re-enactors in battle dress will share their love of history
with military enthusiasts, families, teachers, and students. Collections
of military uniforms, weapons, period military vehicles, and insignia
from 1917 to the present will be displayed. This display is free and
open to the public.



HARRY S. TRUMAN PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM, INDEPENDENCE, MO

Admission charges for all veterans & active military members are waived
from VE Day (May  through VJ Day (August 15).

 

DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM,  ABILENE, KS

Monday, May 25, 10:30 – 11 a.m., the Pylons

The Abilene VFW and American Legion chapters will conduct an annual
ceremony.  Free admission year-round for active duty military.

 
JOHN F. KENNEDY PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM , BOSTON, MA

Saturday, May 23, and Sunday, May 24 free trolley service from the
Copley Square Bus Shelter in downtown Boston to Columbia Point and the
JFK Library. 

Monday, May 25 at 11:10 am and 1:10 pm.  Museum highlight tours
will include President Kennedy’s wartime service.

Monday, May 25 at 1:30 p.m. "Race for Space" program

Free admission to active military members with ID;  reduced admission
for veterans.

 

RICHARD NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM , YORBA LINDA, CA

Monday, May 25 – free admission all day

11 a.m. - Wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial sites of President and
Mrs. Nixon.

1 p.m. -  Memorial Day program with remarks by U.S. Marine Corps
Brigadier General Daniel Yoo, Deputy Commanding General, 1st Marine
Division; patriotic musical program by the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing
Band; and, a formal 21-Gun Salute and Presentation of the Colors by U.S.
Marines.

3:30 p.m. – Musical performance by the 90-member Placentia Symphonic
Band in the East Room.   

 

JIMMY CARTER PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY AND MUSEUM, ATLANTA, GA
 The Carter Library will be starting the annual Blue Star Museum program
on Memorial Day with free admission to active duty military and their
families through Labor Day.

 RELATED ONLINE EXHIBITION: 
Discovering the Civil War

In 2010, the National Archives peeled back 150 years of accumulated
analysis, interpretation, and opinion to reveal a Civil War that was
little-known and even more rarely displayed. The groundbreaking
exhibition presented the most extensive display ever assembled from the
incomparable Civil War holdings of the National Archives, and took a
fresh look at the Civil War through little-known stories, seldom-seen
documents, and unusual perspectives.

NATIONAL ARCHIVES CIVIL WAR RECORDS

     *
Research in Military Records: Civil War
     *
Research Guide to Personal Participation in the Civil War

 

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs
Staff at 202-357-5300.

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