What Is The History Of Veterans Day

What Is The History Of Veterans Day?

While Memorial Day remembers American service members who have died in the service, Veterans Day pays homage to all American veterans, living or dead. Especially to pay tribute to the living veterans who served their country in war or peacetime. So, what is the history of Veterans Day? Here are notable events related to the development of the holiday.

What Is The History Of Veterans Day?

What Is The History Of Veterans Day
What Is The History Of Veterans Day?

Did you know Veterans Day, originally named Armistice Day? This is a once-a-year holiday in the United States to honor veterans, living or dead. We all know Veterans Day is celebrated every year on November 11, but do you know why it’s celebrated on this day? And what is the history of Veterans Day? Scroll down and read on to find out!

The Beginning

World War I, then commonly known simply as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919. However, fighting had ended seven months earlier when the armistice, or temporary cessation of conflict between the Allied nations and Germany, entered into force at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is often considered the end date of “the war to end all wars”.

President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first Armistice Day on November 11, 1919. While announcing the holiday, he said:

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”

The original idea for the celebration was to suspend business for a two-minute period starting at 11 a.m., with the day was also marked parades and public meetings.

What Is The History Of Veterans Day
Do You Know What Is The History Of Veterans Day?

1920 and 1930s

The U.S. Congress approved the motion seven years later on June 4, 1926, recommending it to President Calvin Coolidge to be announced again to commemorate November 11. The ordinance was ratified on May 13, 1938, officially declaring November 11 of each year a legal Federal holiday, Armistice Day.

History Of Veterans Day
What Is The History Of Veterans Day? Timeline Of Veterans Day


But then the Second World War and the Korean War occurred, so on June 1, 1954, at the urging of veterans’ service organizations, Congress modified the anniversary of yet again by changing the word “Armistice” to “Veteran”. On June 1, 1954, with the approval of that act, November 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars. 

On October 8, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower made his first Veterans Day proclamation, he said:

[To] expand the significance of that commemoration [Armistice Day] and in order that a grateful Nation might pay appropriate homage to the veterans of all its wars who have contributed so much to the preservation of this Nation … let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.
What Is The History Of Veterans Day
Have You Wondered What Is The History Of Veterans Day?

1960s and 1970s

Congress passed the Monday Holiday Law that that establishes the fourth Monday in October as the new date for Veterans Day. The law would go into effect in 1971. Officials hope it would boost tourism and other family activities over a long weekend, which would stimulate the economy.

On October 25, 1971, the first Veterans Day under the new law was celebrated with much confusion, as many states disagreed with the new law and continued to celebrate Veterans Day on their original date.

On September 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a law returning Veterans Day to its original historic date of November 11, based on nationwide support. The law went into effect in 1978.

Veterans Day continues to be celebrated on November 11, no matter what day of the week it falls. Restoring Veterans Day observance to Nov. 11 not only preserves the historic significance of the day, but also helps focus attention on the holiday’s important purpose: A celebration that honors American veterans for patriotism, and is ready to serve and sacrifice for the country.

What Is The History Of Veterans Day
What Is The History Of Veterans Day? Everything You Need To Know

Some Other Notable Events

The answer to the question: What is the history of Veterans Day” is clear. In this part, I would like to share some other notable facts related to this holiday that may be of interest to you.

  • If the November 11 holiday falls on a weekend, the federal government-imposed holiday is on Friday (if the holiday falls on a Saturday) or Monday (if the holiday falls on a Sunday).
  • Every Memorial Day and Veterans Day, Arlington National Cemetery holds an annual memorial service. There are graves of more than 400,000 people, most of whom served in the military.
  • In 1921, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery was passed legislation, with 11 November chosen as the date of the celebration.
  • The UK celebrates Remembrance Day on Sunday of November with parades, ceremonies, and two minutes to honor those who died in the war. The red poppy is a symbol of remembrance.
  • France celebrates Armistice Day on November 11. The blue cornflower is synonymous with the day.
  • Australia and Canada have Remembrance Day on 11 November. Canada’s celebration is quite similar to that in the US. Meanwhile, in Australia, the day is more akin to America’s Memorial Day.
  • Many nations also commemorate the veterans of World War I and World War II on or near November 11th.

Veteran Gifts To Show Your True Appreciation

Now you know what is the history of Veterans Day as well as other interesting facts. Veteran’s Day and if you want to do something special on this day, giving a thoughtful gift is the best way. Choose one of the items below or go to directly our Veteran shirts for more ideas.

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