Learn about the history of Veterans Day and when it's observed
Originally, Armistice Day commemorated the end of World War I on Nov. 11, 1918, and was observed as a national holiday. In 1954, then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation proclaiming Nov. 11 Veterans Day, as a way to honor those who served in all American wars. In 1968, a law was passed to change the national commemoration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. It soon became apparent that Nov. 11 was a date of historic significance to many Americans, however, and in 1978 Congress returned the observance to its original date.
Hallmark first offered Veterans Day cards in 2002. The company had tested Veterans Day cards in 1985 and 1999, but found little consumer interest. A resurgence in patriotism following the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States, however, was reflected by consumers seeking ways to honor those who serve and protect, and that included an increased demand for Veterans Day cards.
Being There: Perspectives on Family, Service and Sacrifice
- Veterans Day is always observed November 11.
- About 19.6 million military veterans live in the U.S as of 2013. Of those, approximately 11 percent of U.S. veterans are African American and 6 percent are Hispanic.
- About 1.6 million military veterans are women.
- About 9.3 million of America’s veterans were 65 or older in 2013 and about 1.6 million were younger than 35.
- Of all living U.S. veterans, the largest number—7 million—served during the era of the Vietnam War.
- Some veterans serve our country in multiple wars. About 58,000 U.S. veterans alive in 2013 served during the Vietnam War and both periods of the Gulf War.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau News, Oct. 7, 2014