Memorial Day (USA) Trivia Quiz Questions and Answers

American flag lot

1. What is another name that Memorial Day was originally known by?

A: Armistice Day

B: Patriot Day

C: Decoration Day

D: Veterans Day

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day, a name that originated from the tradition of decorating soldiers’ graves with flowers.

2. When is Memorial Day observed annually in the United States?

A: Last Sunday in May

B: Last Monday in May

C: Last Friday in May

D: May 30

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Since 1971, Memorial Day has been observed on the last Monday in May.

3. Which year saw the first national observance of Memorial Day?

A: 1865

B: 1866

C: 1867

D: 1868

Correct Answer: D

Explanation: The first national observance of Memorial Day took place on May 30, 1868.

4. Which Union Civil War veterans’ organization was instrumental in the establishment of Memorial Day?

A: The American Legion

B: The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR)

C: Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW)

D: The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW)

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was instrumental in establishing Memorial Day as a way to honor the Union soldiers who died in the Civil War.

5. Which division of the Department of Veterans Affairs credits Mary Ann Williams with originating the idea of strewing graves with flowers?

A: National Veterans Cemetery Administration

B: National Graves Commission

C: National Cemetery Administration

D: National Memorials Division

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: The National Cemetery Administration credits Mary Ann Williams with the idea of decorating the graves of Civil War soldiers with flowers.

6. What year did New York become the first state to officially recognize Memorial Day as a holiday?

A: 1868

B: 1870

C: 1872

D: 1873

Correct Answer: D

Explanation: New York became the first state to officially recognize Memorial Day as a holiday in 1873.

7. Which battle is President Abraham Lincoln’s dedication of a cemetery at often mistakenly linked to the origins of Memorial Day?

A: Shiloh

B: Gettysburg

C: Antietam

D: Bull Run

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: The cemetery dedication at Gettysburg by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 is often mistakenly linked to the origins of Memorial Day.

8. What is often considered the symbolic start of summer in the United States?

A: Independence Day

B: Labor Day

C: Memorial Day

D: Veterans Day

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Memorial Day is often considered the symbolic start of summer in the United States.

9. According to legend, who decorated the graves of both Confederate and Union soldiers in Columbus, Mississippi?

A: Confederate soldiers

B: Ladies’ Memorial Association

C: Union soldiers

D: Orphans

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: In Columbus, Mississippi, it was the Ladies’ Memorial Association that decorated the graves of both Confederate and Union soldiers.

10. What critical document did General John A. Logan issue on May 5, 1868, calling for an annual Decoration Day?

A: General Order No. 1

B: Proclamation of Unity

C: General Order No. 11

D: Veterans Day Proclamation

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: General John A. Logan issued General Order No. 11 on May 5, 1868, calling for an annual Decoration Day.

11. Which U.S President signed a proclamation designating Waterloo, New York, as the official birthplace of Memorial Day?

A: Harry S. Truman

B: Dwight D. Eisenhower

C: Lyndon B. Johnson

D: Richard Nixon

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a proclamation designating Waterloo, New York, as the official birthplace of Memorial Day on May 26, 1966.

12. What year did Congress pass the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, moving Memorial Day to its current observance date?

A: 1965

B: 1966

C: 1967

D: 1968

Correct Answer: D

Explanation: Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1968, which moved Memorial Day to the last Monday in May.

13. Which significant event during the Civil War is said to have inspired the tradition of decorating soldiers’ graves?

A: Battle of Gettysburg

B: Lincoln’s funeral procession

C: End of the Civil War

D: Ordinance of Secession

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Some claim that Lincoln’s funeral procession inspired the tradition of decorating soldiers’ graves.

14. What is the main purpose of Memorial Day in the United States?

A: Celebrate the start of summer

B: Honor all U.S. military personnel

C: Recognize Civil War veterans

D: Honor U.S. military personnel who died in service

Correct Answer: D

Explanation: Memorial Day is intended to honor U.S. military personnel who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces.

15. What was a key aspect of John A. Logan’s Decoration Day observances in his 1868 order?

A: Holding parades

B: Visiting battlefields

C: Decorating graves with flowers

D: Holding picnics

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Logan’s Decoration Day observances included the decoration of soldiers’ graves with flowers.

16. Who wrote an influential letter to the Southern press in 1866, urging the decoration of soldiers’ graves?

A: Mary Todd Lincoln

B: Clara Barton

C: Mary Ann Williams

D: Susan B. Anthony

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Mary Ann Williams wrote an influential letter urging the decoration of soldiers’ graves.

17. How is Memorial Day different from Veterans Day?

A: Memorial Day honors living veterans

B: Memorial Day honors those who died in service

C: Veterans Day is celebrated in May

D: Memorial Day was established before Veterans Day

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Memorial Day honors those who died in service, while Veterans Day honors all those who have served in the U.S. military.

18. According to the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), what has undermined the meaning of Memorial Day?

A: Creating a three-day weekend

B: Holding commercial sales

C: Increasing tourism

D: Joining international observances

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: The VFW stated that creating a three-day weekend has undermined the meaning of Memorial Day.

19. At what specific time does the National Moment of Remembrance take place on Memorial Day in the United States?

A: 12:00 pm

B: 1:00 pm

C: 2:00 pm

D: 3:00 pm

Correct Answer: D

Explanation: The National Moment of Remembrance takes place at 3:00 pm.

20. During which significant historical event did the custom of decorating soldiers’ graves notably gain momentum?

A: Civil War

B: World War I

C: Spanish-American War

D: Revolutionary War

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: The custom of decorating soldiers’ graves notably gained momentum during the Civil War.

21. Which type of musical event commonly takes place on Memorial Day in Washington, D.C.?

A: Jazz Festival

B: National Symphony Concert

C: National Memorial Day Concert

D: Opera Performance

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: The National Memorial Day Concert takes place on the west lawn of the United States Capitol.

22. In which state has the oldest continuously running Memorial Day parade been held since 1868?

A: Pennsylvania

B: New York

C: Virginia

D: Wisconsin

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: Doylestown, Pennsylvania, has held an annual Memorial Day parade since 1868.

23. What year was the poppy adopted as the official symbol of remembrance by the National American Legion?

A: 1915

B: 1918

C: 1919

D: 1920

Correct Answer: D

Explanation: The National American Legion adopted the poppy as its official symbol of remembrance in 1920.

24. Which U.S. state holds its Memorial Day observance on the longest-running parades dating back to 1867?

A: New York

B: Pennsylvania

C: Virginia

D: Wisconsin

Correct Answer: D

Explanation: Rochester, Wisconsin, holds one of the longest-running Memorial Day parades dating back to 1867.

25. Which Confederate holiday shares some traditions with Memorial Day but is specifically meant to honor Confederate soldiers?

A: Confederate Remembrance Day

B: Confederate Heritage Day

C: Confederate Memorial Day

D: Confederacy Day

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Confederate Memorial Day is meant to honor Confederate soldiers and shares some traditions with Memorial Day.

26. What kind of events often mark Memorial Day observances in small New England towns?

A: Fireworks displays

B: Dedications and remarks by veterans and politicians

C: Street festivals

D: State fairs

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: In small New England towns, Memorial Day observances are often marked by dedications and remarks by veterans and politicians.

27. What traditional decoration is often placed on soldiers’ graves to honor their sacrifice on Memorial Day?

A: Wreaths

B: Candles

C: American flags

D: Poppies

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: American flags are traditionally placed on soldiers’ graves to honor their sacrifice on Memorial Day.

28. Who wrote the acclaimed Memorial Day poem “In Flanders Fields”?

A: Francis M. Finch

B: Michael Anania

C: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

D: John McCrae

Correct Answer: D

Explanation: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae wrote the poem “In Flanders Fields,” which is well-known for its reference to poppies growing among soldiers’ graves.

29. Which prominent historians have misgivings about the legitimacy of Waterloo, New York, being designated the “official” birthplace of Memorial Day?

A: John Keegan and Antony Beevor

B: David Blight and Robert Bellah

C: Robert Bellah and Stuart McConnell

D: Alan and Karen Jabbour

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Historians David Blight and Robert Bellah have expressed doubts about the legitimacy of Waterloo, New York, being designated the “official” birthplace of Memorial Day.

30. How many soldiers’ graves did the post ensure were decorated by 1870 according to GAR procedures?

A: 100,000

B: 200,000

C: 300,000

D: 400,000

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: By 1870, nearly 300,000 Union dead had been reinterred and their graves decorated according to GAR procedures.

31. Which crucial civil function does Memorial Day serve according to sociologist Robert Bellah?

A: It strengthens national unity and patriotism

B: It promotes global peace

C: It encourages religious observances

D: It supports local economies

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: According to sociologist Robert Bellah, Memorial Day serves the crucial civil function of strengthening national unity and patriotism.

32. What major vehicle race faced opposition from the GAR but went on to be held annually on Memorial Day in the 20th century?

A: Daytona 500

B: Le Mans 24 Hours

C: Indianapolis 500

D: Monaco Grand Prix

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: The Indianapolis 500 faced opposition from the GAR but went on to be held annually on Memorial Day.

33. Which Act was passed by Congress in 2000 to encourage public observance of Memorial Day?

A: National Remembrance Act

B: Flag Respect Act

C: National Moment of Remembrance Act

D: Memorial Day Observance Act

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Congress passed the National Moment of Remembrance Act in 2000 to encourage public observance of Memorial Day by pausing to remember at 3:00 pm.

34. Which Southern town hosts the oldest continuous Memorial Day parade recognized by historians?

A: Doylestown, Pennsylvania

B: Columbus, Mississippi

C: Charleston, South Carolina

D: Grafton, West Virginia

Correct Answer: D

Explanation: Historians recognize Grafton, West Virginia, as hosting one of the oldest continuous Memorial Day parades since 1868.

35. How did the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) view the day of Memorial Day in terms of public support?

A: A day of mourning

B: A day of celebration

C: The day of all days in their calendar

D: The least important day of the year

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) viewed Memorial Day as “the day of all days in the G.A.R. Calendar” for mobilizing public support.

36. On what basis did General Logan choose May 30 for the original Decoration Day?

A: No specific battle anniversaries

B: International holiday observances

C: Similarity to another major holiday

D: Optimal date for flowers to bloom in the North

Correct Answer: D

Explanation: General Logan chose May 30 for Decoration Day because it was the optimal date for flowers to be in bloom in the North.

37. What kind of historical narrative did the Ladies’ Memorial Association focus on preserving through Memorial Day rituals?

A: American patriotism

B: Confederate culture and the Lost Cause of the Confederacy

C: Union victory

D: World War I memories

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: The Ladies’ Memorial Association focused on preserving Confederate culture and the Lost Cause of the Confederacy through Memorial Day rituals.

38. In which year was the Uniform Monday Holiday Act enacted at the federal level?

A: 1968

B: 1970

C: 1971

D: 1972

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: The Uniform Monday Holiday Act took effect at the federal level in 1971, moving Memorial Day to the last Monday in May.

39. Memorial Day ceremonies often include music. Which American composer wrote “Decoration Day” as part of a symphonic suite?

A: Leonard Bernstein

B: Aaron Copland

C: Charles Ives

D: John Philip Sousa

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: American composer Charles Ives wrote “Decoration Day” as part of his symphonic suite, “A Symphony: New England Holidays”.

40. Which flower is closely associated with Memorial Day and symbolic of remembrance?

A: Rose

B: Lily

C: Daffodil

D: Poppy

Correct Answer: D

Explanation: The poppy is closely associated with Memorial Day and is a symbol of remembrance, inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields”.

41. When did the National American Legion adopt the poppy as its official symbol of remembrance?

A: 1918

B: 1919

C: 1920

D: 1921

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: The National American Legion adopted the poppy as its official symbol of remembrance in 1920.

42. What is the significance of raising the U.S. flag to half-staff until noon on Memorial Day?

A: To honor living veterans

B: To signal the start of ceremonies

C: To honor the dead soldiers

D: To respect the president

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Raising the U.S. flag to half-staff until noon on Memorial Day is to honor the dead soldiers who sacrificed for the country.

43. Which notable historian labeled the 1865 Black parade in Charleston as the first Memorial Day?

A: Robert Bellah

B: David Blight

C: Stuart McConnell

D: Alan Jabbour

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Historian David Blight labeled the 1865 event in Charleston by the recently freed Black population as the first Memorial Day.

44. Which year marked the federal recognition of Memorial Day by its current name?

A: 1965

B: 1967

C: 1969

D: 1971

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Memorial Day was federally recognized by its current name in 1967.

45. What is the main reason New England parades or ceremonies on Memorial Day include veterans and politicians?

A: To promote tourism

B: To honor the military and reflect on memory

C: To entertain the public

D: To raise funds for local governments

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Veterans and politicians participate in New England Memorial Day parades and ceremonies to honor the military and reflect on the meaning of the holiday.

46. Which specific ritual involved the GAR ensuring none of the fallen soldiers’ graves went undecorated on Memorial Day?

A: Organizing national parades

B: Coordinating flower purchases

C: Detailed graveyard service organization

D: Holding military banquets

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: The GAR meticulously organized the decoration of fallen soldiers’ graves months in advance to ensure none were missed.

47. Which historical period did the GAR integrate Memorial Day as part of its mobilization for public support for pensions?

A: Revolutionary War

B: Civil War

C: World War I

D: World War II

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: The GAR integrated Memorial Day into its mobilization efforts for public support for pensions following the Civil War.

48. Who made significant Memorial Day contributions, granting the real start to decorating graves during the Civil War?

A: Southern women

B: Union soldiers

C: African Americans

D: Northern politicians

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: Southern women made significant contributions by decorating graves during the Civil War, laying the foundation for Memorial Day.

49. Which progressive act was passed in 2000 to help underscore the importance of Memorial Day?

A: The Uniform Monday Holiday Act

B: The National Moment of Remembrance Act

C: The Memorial Day Observance Statute

D: The Veterans Flag Respect Act

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: The National Moment of Remembrance Act was passed in 2000 to help underscore the importance of Memorial Day.

50. How is the term “Decoration Day” still relevant in Southern Appalachia and Liberia?

A: It refers to Memorial Day celebrations

B: It honors World War veterans

C: It denotes local cemetery decoration traditions

D: It decorates national monuments

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: “Decoration Day” is still relevant in Southern Appalachia and Liberia as it denotes local cemetery decoration traditions.

51. Which year did Memorial Day move to be observed on the last Monday in May from its traditional May 30 date?

A: 1967

B: 1968

C: 1970

D: 1971

Correct Answer: D

Explanation: Memorial Day moved to the last Monday in May in 1971.

52. Which coastal city claimed to have honored 257 dead Union soldiers with a parade on May 1, 1865?

A: Savannah, Georgia

B: Charleston, South Carolina

C: Mobile, Alabama

D: Norfolk, Virginia

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Charleston, South Carolina, held a parade on May 1, 1865, to honor 257 dead Union soldiers, an event some call the first Memorial Day.

53. Which GAR commander’s wife noted the optimal date for flowers as the reason for choosing May 30 for Decoration Day?

A: Robert Anderson

B: Philip Sheridan

C: John A. Logan

D: William T. Sherman

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: John A. Logan’s wife noted that May 30 was chosen for Decoration Day because it was the optimal date for flowers to be in bloom in the North.

54. What type of ceremony was typical during early Memorial Day observances according to GAR handbooks?

A: Firework displays

B: Graveyard service with prayers and music

C: Sporting events

D: Coastal ceremonies

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: Early Memorial Day observances typically involved a graveyard service with prayers, patriotic speeches, and music, according to GAR handbooks.

55. Which year did New York begin officially recognizing Memorial Day as a state holiday?

A: 1868

B: 1870

C: 1873

D: 1876

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: New York began officially recognizing Memorial Day as a state holiday in 1873.

56. How does the VFW propose to return the focus on the true meaning of Memorial Day?

A: By banning commercial sales

B: By moving it back to the original date

C: By increasing public holidays

D: By holding concerts

Correct Answer: B

Explanation: The VFW advocates returning Memorial Day to its original date to recapture its true meaning and respect.

57. What aspect did Memorial Day’s civil religion, according to scholars like Robert Bellah, incorporate?

A: Anticlerical sentiment

B: Opposing American nationalism

C: Themes of death, sacrifice, and rebirth

D: Economic prosperity

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Scholars like Robert Bellah argue that Memorial Day’s civil religion incorporated themes of death, sacrifice, and rebirth.

58. Which historic war’s end does the chosen Southern Memorial Day commemoration date of April 26 correspond to?

A: Revolutionary War

B: War of 1812

C: Mexican-American War

D: Civil War

Correct Answer: D

Explanation: The chosen Southern Memorial Day commemoration date of April 26 corresponds to the end of the Civil War, marked by the surrender agreement between Generals Johnston and Sherman in 1865.

59. How did formal memorial practices for soldiers take shape during the Civil War?

A: Led by government officials

B: Promoted by military generals

C: Under the leadership of women during the war

D: Initiated by foreign allies

Correct Answer: C

Explanation: Formal memorial practices for soldiers in the United States took shape under the leadership of women during the Civil War.

60. Which publication publicly confirmed Virginia’s earliest Decoration Day for the first Civil War soldier’s grave in 1906?

A: Richmond Times-Dispatch

B: New-York Tribune

C: Charleston Daily Courier

D: Harper’s Weekly

Correct Answer: A

Explanation: The Richmond Times-Dispatch article in 1906 confirmed Virginia’s earliest Decoration Day for the first Civil War soldier’s grave.

Source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memorial_Day

What is the best quiz for you business?

Quizzes are super effective for lead generation and selling products. Find the best quiz for your business by answering a few questions.

Take the quiz