Fas­ci­nat­ing Facts to Know and Tell

American Senior - - REMEMBER WHEN -

For­merly Dec­o­ra­tion Day The prac­tice of dec­o­rat­ing sol­diers’ graves with flow­ers is an an­cient cus­tom. Start­ing in 1882, Dec­o­ra­tion Day be­came an an­nual day for many com­mu­ni­ties across the coun­try to dec­o­rate the graves of Civil War sol­diers with flow­ers and flags. Af­ter World War I, all those who died while serv­ing in any Amer­i­can war, not just the Civil War, were hon­ored with grave dec­o­rat­ing. By 1967, a fed­eral law de­clared the name of the fed­eral hol­i­day to be Me­mo­rial Day. Over two dozen cities and towns across the coun­try claim to hav­ing orig­i­nated Dec­o­ra­tion Day as a post-Civil War com­mu­nity-wide event, but Water­loo, New York has the of­fi­cial honor af­ter Pres­i­dent Lyn­don John­son de­clared it the birth­place of the hol­i­day in May 1966.

“A Peculiar Dis­ease”

It’s been over a cen­tury since Alzheimer’s dis­ease was first clas­si­fied. In 1906, Ger­man psy­chi­a­trist and neu­ropathol­o­gist Dr. Alois Alzheimer first de­scribed the dis­ease af­ter he no­ticed shrink­age in and around nerve cells in the brain tis­sue of a fe­male pa­tient, Au­guste De­ter, who be­gan to ex­pe­ri­ence mem­ory loss, para­noia, and psy­cho­log­i­cal changes be­fore her death. Through ex­tremely for­tu­nate cir­cum­stances, the orig­i­nal mi­cro­scope prepa­ra­tions on which

Dr. Alzheimer based his de­scrip­tion of the dis­ease were re­dis­cov­ered in 1998 in Mu­nich, and his find­ings were re- eval­u­ated. The slides con­firmed that Mrs. De­ter did in fact have what is now known as Alzheimer’s dis­ease.

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