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Veterans Day

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Veterans Day, observed annually on November 11th, honors military veterans who have served in the United States Armed Forces

A Brief History of Veterans Day

Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918. In 1938, through an act of Congress, November 11th was made a legal holiday.

In 1954, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, the 83rd U.S. Congress amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting the word "Veterans.” On June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

In 1968, the Uniforms Holiday Bill was signed, ensuring three-day weekends for federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holiday on their original dates. With much confusion, the first Veterans Day under the new law was observed on October 25, 1971.

On September 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a law which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11th, beginning in 1978. Since then, the Veterans Day holiday has been observed on November 11th.

Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' website

The Veterans History Project

On October 27, 2000, the United States Congress signed into law the Veterans’ Oral History Project Act creating the Veteran’s History Project of the Library of Congress, American Folklife Center. It is an ongoing oral history program responsible for collecting and preserving interviews of American wartime veterans.

114 Stat. 1447 - Veterans' Oral History Project Act

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Read more about legislation related to this project including the Congressional Research Service's summary on CONGRESS.GOV.

Find out more about this project and how you can participate by recording and submitting veterans’ stories on the Library of Congress, American Folklife Center’s website.

Related Publications

36 U.S.C. 145 - Veterans Day

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68 Stat. 168 - An Act to honor veterans on the 11th day of November of each year, a day dedicated to world peace

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89 Stat. 479 - An act to redesignate November 11 of each year as Veterans Day and to make such day a legal public holiday

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Related govinfo Resources

Did you know that the Government Publishing Office's online bookstore offers a collection of publications produced by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that provides guidance and information to America's veteran armed forces personnel? Check out the site for numerous publications including Federal Benefits For Veterans, Dependents and Survivors 2020

About Featured Content Articles – This series of articles aims to highlight content available in govinfo related to various national observances, commemorations, anniversaries and more. See more featured content articles.