Veterans Day, celebrated Nov. 11 every year by Americans, honors all those who served in the United States Armed Forces.
Although Veterans Day is recognized by many, not all Americans know the history behind the holiday. Here's a look at its background:
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1. Veterans Day was first celebrated as Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919, just one year after the end of World War I. Congress passed legislation in 1926 for the day to become an annual observance. It became known as a national holiday in 1938.
2. It wasn't until 1954 that President Dwight Eisenhower changed the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
3. Between the years of 1971 and 1977, Veterans Day was celebrated on every fourth Monday during October. The holiday was changed back to its original date on Nov. 11, 1978, by President Ford.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs
, there are nearly 17 million American war veterans still living, and more than 23 million counting periods of both war and peace.
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