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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 11 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, Nov. 11 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 Oct. 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 Nov. 11, beginning in 1978. Since then, the Veterans Day holiday has been observed on Nov. 11.

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.

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

114 Stat. 1447 - Veterans' Oral History Project Act

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Related Publications

36 U.S.C. 145 - Veterans Day

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5 U.S.C. 6103 - Holidays

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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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82 Stat. 250 - An Act to provide for uniform annual observances of certain legal public holidays on Mondays, and for other purposes

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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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