Veterans Day History

Oct 27th, 2016

Veterams Dau

 

Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day. In June, 1919, the Treaty of Versailles was signed in France officially ending World War I. Even so, the official date used is November 11, 1918. That is the date that when a temporary halt of hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany became effective, and the date used to observe Veterans Day.

 

One year after the halt of hostilities, President Wilson issued a proclamation making November 11 the first commemoration of Armistice Day. He stated that it was a day to reflect with pride on the heroism shown by those that died during their service to the country and as a day to be grateful for the victory.

 

Armistice Day was officially recognized by the United States Congress in a resolution passed in June, 1926. At that time, 27 states had already passed legislation that made November 11 a legal holiday. The resolution requested the President of the United States to issue a proclamation asking officials to display the United States flag on all government buildings, and for citizens to conduct ceremonies in honor of the day in schools and churches.

 

In 1938, an Act was passed by Congress making November 11 of each year a legal holiday to celebrate world peace. In 1954, after World War II, Congress amended the Act by replacing the word Armistice with the word Veterans. The legislation was approved and November 11 became a day to commemorate United State veterans of all wars.

 

In October, 1954, President Eisenhower issued a proclamation with the goal of insuring widespread observance of Veterans Day. Toward that end, he designated the Veterans’ Affairs administrator as the Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee and gave the chairman the authority to include other persons of his choosing. The stated goal of the committee was to coordinate planning for the observance of the day on a national level. That committee, headed by the administrator of the Veterans’ Affairs, is still active today.

 

The date that Veterans Day was observed was changed in 1968, under the Uniform Holiday Bill, to ensure that it would be celebrated on a Monday so that federal employees would have a three day holiday weekend. Because the original date of November 11 had historical significance, that action resulted in confusion and controversy between state legislatures, major veterans organization, and American citizens. Even so, it remained law until 1975 when President Gerald R. Ford signed a bill that returned the Veterans Day holiday to November 11 beginning in 1978.

 

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