Memorial Day is May 26th

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

I've been looking for things to do with the kids to help teach them about the significance of Memorial Day. Rather than the kick off of the summer months, I want them to appreciate the holiday for what it symbolizes. Last year we attended a parade put on by the local veterans, which was fun, but I want to dig a little deeper this year.

Memorial Day was originally named Decoration Day. The holiday was first celebrated on May 30, 1868, when Union General John A. Logan declared the day an occasion to decorate the graves of Civil War soldiers. The name was changed to Memorial Day twenty years later when President Richard Nixon declared it a federal holiday in 1971. Memorial Day is now observed on the last Monday of May. Through the years it has become an occasion to honor the men and women who died in all wars.

Check out more historical information and the official General Order here. For interesting images, videos and war maps try this link. I also found some cute craft ideas for creating some patriotic decorations (most of which would work well for the Fourth of July as well) and some poetry and rhymes too.

My kids love to cook...and eat...and what would Memorial Day be without a bbq? There is no shortage of great recipes and I'm sure you have some family favorites. At our house, these are always a hit.
And lets not forget the treats and desserts! Plus, the kitchen is an ideal place for sneaking in a few math and chemistry lessons so cook up some fun!

Also, try this favorite picnic recipe for mom and dad, yum!

Blue Cheese Potato Salad

5 pounds red new potatoes
1/2 cup dry white wine
Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 1/4 cups mayonnaise
1 1/4 cups sour cream
2 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1/2 pound blue cheese, crumbled
5 green onions, minced
1 1/2 cups chopped celery

Place potatoes in large pot. Cover with cold water. Boil until tender. Drain. Cool slightly. Peel potatoes. Cut into 1-inch pieces. Transfer to large bowl. Add wine, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Cool.

Combine all remaining ingredients. Mix with potatoes. Adjust seasoning. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Let stand 30 minutes at room temperature before serving.)


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