Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Nov. 11, 1918: Armistice Day
The 11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th day in 1918 was when a temporary armistice was signed bringing an end to hostilities of World War I. The end of "The Great War" was seen as a turning point in world affairs and President Woodrow Wilson designated Nov. 11 as "Armistice Day" every year. The formal peace treaty would be signed seven months later in Versailles, France.
Nov. 11, 1921: Tomb of the Unknowns
Congress approved the creation of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. The ceremony inaugurating the memorial happens on Nov. 11, 1921, and the official federal holiday goes into effect.
May 13, 1938: Armistice Day a legal holiday
Congress passes legislation making Nov. 11 a legal holiday and calling it officially "Armistice Day." Federal offices would close, as well as courts and banks would do no business on Nov. 11 to mark the occasion.
June 1, 1954: Veterans Day name change
President Eisenhower would later change the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day in 1954. Additionally, Eisenhower would create a Veterans Day National Committee that would oversee any observances planned within the federal government regarding Veterans Day. It wouldn't be until 1989 that the Secretary of Veterans Affairs would chair the committee when the Cabinet-level position was created.
June 28, 1968: Federal holiday law passed
Congress passed the Monday Holiday Law, making four Mondays throughout the year a federal holiday, including Veterans Day. The official celebration was the fourth Monday in October starting in 1971. When confusion set in as to when the actual Veterans Day observance occurred, some states moved the observance back to mid-November.
Sept. 20, 1975: Back to Nov. 11 observances
Congress passed legislation in 1975 making the next official federal Veterans Day Nov. 11, 1978. The law change had popular backing as 46 states reverted back to the original date of the armistice making the holiday part of American culture and remembering an important date in history.
Nov. 11, 1978: Official Veterans Day
No matter what day of the week upon which it falls, Veterans Day has been observed in American on Nov. 11 since 1978. Parades that honor living veterans occur in cities and towns all across the nation. Flags fly in the nation's capital as Washington, D.C. honors soldiers who have fought in wartime.
Posted by Claudia