Memorial Day Resources from The Library of Congress

Memorial Day is almost here, but honoring the men and women who sacrifice on our behalf continues throughout the year through The Veterans History Project (VHP), an oral history program of the Librarys American Folk life Center, created by Congress in 2000 to collect, preserve, and make accessible the first-hand recollections of American war veterans. Older students will find it fascinating to read and listen to the recollections of our wartime veterans from World War I to the current conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. The stories in the VHP collection are told by veterans of all races and ethnicities, all branches of service, both men and women. Their stories range from tales of combat to details of everyday life

Students may then be inspired to interview veterans they may know and then submit their oral histories to be included in the VHP archives. Recommended for grades 10 -12, a student kit is available with guidelines, sample interviews and resources.

The historic newspaper collection, Chronicling America, has Memorial Day stories and features dating from May, 1868, when General John Logan officially proclaimed Decoration (later, Memorial) Day and that year flowers were placed on the graves of Union soldiers at Arlington Cemetery.


Explore more resources from Today in History, including historic sheet music, photographs, and information about commemorations and war memorials throughout the country.