Decoration Day: 1870

Orphans Decorating Their Fathers' Graves in Glenwood Cemetery, Philadelphia, on Decoration Day, 1876 Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/cph.3a50762/

Orphans Decorating Their Fathers’ Graves in Glenwood Cemetery, Philadelphia, on Decoration Day, 1876 Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/cph.3a50762/

A little Indiana girl on Decoration Day strewed flowers on the grave of a Confederate. A little friend reminding her that it was a rebel’s grave, she replied: “Yes, I know it; but my pa was a soldier and died in Libby prison and is buried down South. I so much hope some little girl there will strew flowers on his grave, I thought I would bring these and put them on the rebels’ graves. Maybe some of them have little girls at home, you know.”

New Philadelphia Ohio Democrat July 8, 1870: p. 2

Mrs Daffodil’s Aide-memoire: Before the American holiday became “Memorial Day,” it was called “Decoration Day,” and was a day for decking the graves of those who died in the service of their country. In some parts of the United States Union and Confederate sympathisers each had separate Decoration Days.

Of course, to-day in the States, it marks the beginning of summer holidays and is celebrated with parades, barbeques, and a motor-car race held in Indianapolis, Indiana. Mrs Daffodil rather wistfully hopes that there will be a moment of silence to remember the honoured dead.

Mrs Daffodil invites you to join her on the curiously named “Face-book,” where you will find a feast of fashion hints, fads and fancies, and historical anecdotes

You may read about a sentimental succubus, a vengeful seamstress’s ghost, Victorian mourning gone horribly wrong, and, of course, Mrs Daffodil’s efficient tidying up after a distasteful decapitation in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales.

 

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