On November 11, the United States takes a moment to honor those who have fought for our country. However, Veterans Day originally did not honor veterans.
In 1919, at the end of World War I, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation commemorating November 11 as Armistice Day, a day when Americans could reflect on the victory with gratitude and solemn pride in the heroism of those who died during the Great War.
In 1926 Congress passed a resolution declaring that November 11 should be a legal holiday that commemorates peace, goodwill and mutual understanding between nations with prayer and thanksgiving. Twelve years later Congress passed a law making Armistice Day a legal holiday celebrating world peace. After the Korean War, Congress amended the law to honor veterans from all wars, and in 1975, November 11 officially became Veterans Day.
As we acknowledge the centennial of the start of World War I and prepare for the centennial of the United States’ entry into the war, explore these blog posts that provide links to resources that can be used to study World War I and the veterans of all wars.
- Additional details on the history of Armistice/Veterans Day can be found in the Library’s In Custodia Legis blog .
- Learn about the work of the Veterans History Project and how you can participate from this Folklife Today blog. Need an example of how teachers have used the Veterans History Project with students? Explore this post from Teaching with the Library of Congress.
- Picture This features images taken of soldiers during World War I.
- Find links to patriotic music using the In the Muse blog from Performing Arts.
- The Teaching with the Library of Congress blog also has a post highlighting previous Veterans Day blog entries.
How will you commemorate Veterans Day with your students? Let us know in the comments.