Veterans' Day Time Line

For those of you wondering why Veterans Day is always celebrated on November 11... Oh wait. It wasn't always celebrated on the 11th. Here is why!

1918: November 11, 11:00 a.m. the armistice ending World War I (truce) goes into effect

1919: President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with these words "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…"

Fact: The original idea for Veterans’ Day was a day observed with parades with a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.

1938: November 11 is made a legal holiday is signed into Act on May 13 – as a day dedicated to the cause of world peace known as Armistice Day.

1954: With World War II, Korean War the Act of 1938 was amended by changing Armistice to Veterans’ to honor all American veterans of wars.

1968: The Uniform Holiday Bill is signed on June 28 to ensure three-day weekend for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Columbus Day.

1971: The first Veterans Day is celebrated on a Monday to much public dismay. Many felt the historic significance of the November 11 date should continue to be recognized.

1975: President Gerald Ford signs Public Law 94-97 restoring Veterans Day to November 11. “A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.”

© Diane Chase, author of Adirondack Family Time: Tri-Lakes and High Peaks (Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 Activities) for the towns of Lake Placid, Saranac Lake, Jay/Upper Jay, Wilmington, Keene/Keene Valley which is available online or bookstores/museums/sporting good stores. Diane is currently working on the third guidebook in the four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities.


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