Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11th each year; however, there was a time when the celebration was held in October. This holiday has a history of name and date changes dating from 1919 until present day. The purpose of celebration was originally to honor the living veterans from the “Great War,” standing for World War I.
• June 28, 1919 – Treaty of Versailles signed in France formally ending
World War I
• November 1919 – President Wilson proclaimed November 11th as the first commemoration of Armistice Day
• June 4, 1926 – United States Congress officially recognized the end of World
War I with a resolution
• 1921 – Congress established the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery
• May 13, 1938 – Became the official holiday known as Armistice Day to honor the Veterans of World War I.
• 1954 – 83rd Congress amended the bill for Armistice Day making the day known as Veterans Day and including the veterans from World War I, World War II, and the Korean War as well as veterans from all wars.
• 1968 – Congress passed the Monday Holiday Law establishing the fourth Monday in October as the first date for Veterans Day (history.army.mil)
• 1968 – Uniform Holiday Bill passed ensuring a three day weekend for all federal employees for 4 national holidays: Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day and Columbus Day
• 1975 – Due to popular demand, Congress returned the date to November 11th each year
Today, the 1975 change to the celebration date has remained the same, November 11th. Celebrations occur throughout the nation in the form of parades and other events. Washington D. C. celebrates at Arlington Cemetery with the Color Guard representing all military branches at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier executing the “Present Arms” before the President lays the Presidential Wreath on the Tomb followed by a bugler playing Taps.