Fascinating Facts to Know and Tell
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.