Veterans Day has its roots in a proclamation issued by President Woodrow Wilson in November 1919, a year after World War I ended, designating Nov. 11 as Armistice Day.
States soon starting declaring Nov. 11 a legal holiday. Congress made it a federal holiday in 1938, dedicated to the cause of world peace.
In 1954, following World War II and the Korean War, Congress, at the urging of veterans service organizations, passed a law renaming Armistice Day as Veterans Day. From 1971-1977, Veterans Day was held in late October. A 1975 law returned it to Nov. 11, beginning in 1978.
In his Veterans Day proclamation, President Barack Obama said, “Our veterans left everything they knew and loved and served with exemplary dedication and courage so we could all know a safer America and a more just world. They have been tested in ways that rest of us may never fully understand and it is our duty to fulfill our sacred obligation to our veterans and their families.
“On Veterans Day, and every day, let us show them the extraordinary gratitude they so rightly deserve and let us recommit to pledging our full support for them in all they do.”