Backgrounders Connecting Headlines with History
Memorial Day, the last Monday in May, has been observed in the Greater Philadelphia area since the 1860s. The springtime holiday is considered the United States’ first multiracial, multiethnic commemoration and the kickoff of the summertime season. However, Memorial Day’s meanings and origin stories have been debated since its creation, and the holiday’s roots have been both contested and deeply enmeshed with the remaking of American memory in the decades following the Civil War.
Browse the Encyclopedia
The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia is a civic project to increase understanding of one of America’s greatest cities.
Produced by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities (MARCH) at Rutgers-Camden, the Encyclopedia as a digital resource and in print volumes will offer the most comprehensive, authoritative reference source ever created for the Philadelphia region.
This is a work in progress. Watch us grow!
Support Our Efforts
Each topic in The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia is the product of many hours of research, writing, editing, and digital production. To build this resource to more than 1,000 topics spanning the region, we welcome your financial support.
The Encyclopedia of Greater Philadelphia is produced by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Center for the Humanities (MARCH) at Rutgers-Camden. Gifts to this project are made through the Rutgers University Foundation.
Make a gift today.