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A short history of Veterans’ Day

New Albany, MS– Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on November 11, 1919 to celebrate the end of World War I, which officially took place at 11:00 AM on November 11, 1918.  Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance.

In legislation that was passed in 1938, November 11 was “dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day.'” As such, this new legal holiday honored World War I veterans.

In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

In 1968, the Uniform Holiday Bill ensured three-day gave federal employees four national holidays on Mondays: Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day, moving Veterans Day to the fourth Monday of October. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holiday on its original date.

The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971. It was quite apparent that the commemoration of this day was a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of our citizens.

On September 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a law returning Veterans’ Day to its original date of Nov. 11, beginning in 1978. Since then, the Veterans’ Day holiday has been observed on Nov. 11.

Veterans’ Day honors all those, living or dead, who have served our country; Memorial Day honors those who have died while serving in the military.

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