The History of Veteran’s Day

Veteran’s Day is a holiday near and dear to the millions of Americans who have worn a military uniform or loved someone who has. Veterans Day serves as a way for Americans to honor and celebrate the sacrifice and bravery of the millions of men and women who have worn a military uniform in defense…
Advertising Disclosure.

Advertiser Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone. This article may contain links from our advertisers. For more information, please see our Advertising Policy.

Eisenhower signs Veterans Day resolution

Veteran’s Day is a holiday near and dear to the millions of Americans who have worn a military uniform or loved someone who has. Veterans Day serves as a way for Americans to honor and celebrate the sacrifice and bravery of the millions of men and women who have worn a military uniform in defense of our great nation. What follows is a brief history of Veteran’s Day.

Veterans Day

The History of Veteran’s Day

Armistice Day – the original Veterans Day

Veteran’s Day hasn’t always been known as Veteran’s Day – it was originally known as Armistice Day in recognition of the armistice, or cease-fire, that ended the fighting during The Great War, which is now known as WWI. The armistice went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918.

The Great War didn’t officially end until the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, but President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day because that marked the official end of hostilities in Western Europe.

President Wilson spoke the following words:

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m. Armistice Day was celebrated for the next few decades in remembrance of those who served in WWI.

Armistice Day becomes Veterans Day

In 1954, Armistice Day was officially changed to Veterans Day in order to recognize American veterans of all wars. This was less than a decade after the close of WWII, and right at the end of the Korean War.

Eisenhower signs Veterans Day resolution

Later that same year, on October 8th, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first “Veterans Day Proclamation” which stated:

“In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans’ Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible.”

Veterans Day 1960s – 1970s

In 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill, which was designed to move several federal holidays to Mondays in order to create three-day weekends for federal employees. The goal was to encourage tourism and travel and give families more time together. The first holiday under the new law was celebrated on the last Monday in October in 1971. This caused a fair amount of confusion and many states elected to celebrate the holiday on its original date.

In 1975 President Gerald R. Ford recognized the historical significance of the original date and its importance to military veterans and signed a new law returning the observation of Veterans Day to November 11th beginning in 1978. If November 11 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the federal government observes the holiday on the previous Friday or following Monday, respectively.

Veterans Day today

Veterans Day is more than a day on a calendar, more than a day off from work, and more than an excuse for a sale at the local furniture store. Today, as always, Veterans Day is a way to recognize all who have served in our nation’s military.  To all who served – a simple thank you is never enough. But I’ll say it anyway. Thanks for your service.

Honoring Veterans: There are many people and companies who are proud to offer US Military Veterans a token of their appreciation. Here is a list of Veterans Day EventsVeteran’s Day Free Meals, and Veterans Day Discounts. Thanks to the many people and companies who work so hard to honor our country’s veterans.

Flag Photo credit: ?o??ƒx™. President Eisenhower photo credit: VA.

Get Instant Access
FREE Weekly Updates! Enter your information to join our mailing list.

About Ryan Guina

Ryan Guina is The Military Wallet's founder. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over six years on active duty in the USAF and is a current member of the Illinois Air National Guard.

Ryan started The Military Wallet in 2007 after separating from active duty military service and has been writing about financial, small business, and military benefits topics since then. He also writes about personal finance and investing at Cash Money Life.

Ryan uses Personal Capital to track and manage his finances. Personal Capital is a free software program that allows him to track his net worth, balance his investment portfolio, track his income and expenses, and much more. You can open a free Personal Capital account here.

Featured In: Ryan's writing has been featured in the following publications: Forbes,, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, Reserve & National Guard Magazine (print and online editions), Military Influencer Magazine, Cash Money Life, The Military Guide, USAA, Go Banking Rates, and many other publications.

Reader Interactions


    Leave A Comment:


    About the comments on this site:

    These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

  1. Anthony Joseph says

    Veterans Day is a U.S. legal holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars, and Veterans Day 2019 occurs on Monday, November 11. In 1918, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in World War I, then known as “the Great War

The Military Wallet is a property of Three Creeks Media. Neither The Military Wallet nor Three Creeks Media are associated with or endorsed by the U.S. Departments of Defense or Veterans Affairs. The content on The Military Wallet is produced by Three Creeks Media, its partners, affiliates and contractors, any opinions or statements on The Military Wallet should not be attributed to the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, the Dept. of Defense or any governmental entity. If you have questions about Veteran programs offered through or by the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, please visit their website at The content offered on The Military Wallet is for general informational purposes only and may not be relevant to any consumer’s specific situation, this content should not be construed as legal or financial advice. If you have questions of a specific nature consider consulting a financial professional, accountant or attorney to discuss. References to third-party products, rates and offers may change without notice.

Advertising Notice: The Military Wallet and Three Creeks Media, its parent and affiliate companies, may receive compensation through advertising placements on The Military Wallet; For any rankings or lists on this site, The Military Wallet may receive compensation from the companies being ranked and this compensation may affect how, where and in what order products and companies appear in the rankings and lists. If a ranking or list has a company noted to be a “partner” the indicated company is a corporate affiliate of The Military Wallet. No tables, rankings or lists are fully comprehensive and do not include all companies or available products.

Editorial Disclosure: Editorial content on The Military Wallet may include opinions. Any opinions are those of the author alone, and not those of an advertiser to the site nor of  The Military Wallet.