Flower

Posts Tagged ‘American wars’

Veterans Day Timeline

Honoring the sacrifices many have made for our country in the name of freedom
and democracy is the very foundation of Veterans Day.
–Representative Charles B. Rangel (D-NY)

A Marine Corps bugler plays taps during the Marine Corps Sunset Parade at the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington, Va., June 30, 2015. Credit: Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz [public domain] via U.S. Department of Defense

A Marine Corps bugler plays taps during the Marine Corps Sunset Parade at the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington, Va., June 30, 2015. Credit: Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz [public domain] via U.S. Department of Defense

1918: Near the end of World War I (then called the “Great War”) an armistice, or temporary ceasefire agreement, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, effectively ending the war.

1919: President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day.

1938: An Act of Congress approved on May 13 made the 11th of November in each year a legal federal holiday–a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.”

Eisenhower signing of HR7786, June 1, 1954, this ceremony changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day. By U.S. Government [public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Eisenhower signing of HR7786, June 1, 1954, this ceremony changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day. By U.S. Government [public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

1954: Armistice Day was originally intended to honor the veterans who served in World War I. But the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, a national campaign was launched to make the holiday one dedicated to all American veterans. Congress amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation, on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

1968: President Lyndon Johnson signed The Uniform Holiday Bill on June 28, which was intended to ensure three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. The bill took effect in 1971 though many states continued to celebrate the holidays on their original dates.

1971-1975: The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971. The Federal observance of Veterans Day was held on the fourth Monday of October for four years.

1975: On September 20th, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97, which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. Ford noted that “it has become apparent that the commemoration of this day on November 11 is a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of our citizens.”

Army Nurse Corps, before boarding for Italy (circa 1942-1945) [public domain] via Library of Congress

Army Nurse Corps, before boarding for Italy (circa 1942-1945) [public domain] via Library of Congress

1982: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. to honor the “courage, sacrifice and devotion to duty and country” of the more than 58,000 men and women who gave their lives or remained missing during America’s longest war.

1997: On October 18, the Women in Military Service for America Memorial was dedicated to the nearly two million women who have served in defense of our nation.

2014: According to the Census Bureau, there are 21.8 million living veterans of the U.S. armed forces. If you are one of them, thank you. If not, take the opportunity today to honor the bravery, patriotism, sacrifices and service of America’s veterans at an event or celebration near you. After all, in the words of American journalist Elmer Davis (1890-1958):

“The Republic was not established by cowards; and cowards will not preserve it.…
This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”

Memorial Day Resources in eLibrary

ProQuest Memorial Research Topic Page

ProQuest Memorial Day Research Topic Page via eLibrary

How much do you know about Memorial Day?  Take this quick quiz to find out.

If you didn’t do very well, you’re not alone, and that is why in 2000, the National Moment of Remembrance was introduced following polls that showed that many people were misinformed about the history and reason for the holiday. At 3 p.m. local time every Memorial Day, people around the U.S. stop everything for one minute of silence and reflection about the people who have died in military service to their country.

While there is debate about what place has claim to the first Memorial Day observance, it is known that the first nationwide occurrence was in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic’s General John A. Logan designated May 30 as a day “for strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village, and hamlet churchyard in the land.” Logan was likely inspired by the tradition southern ladies had adopted during and after the Civil War of honoring fallen Confederates, a tradition which itself had grown partially out of the grim task of re-interring soldiers who had been hastily buried in farmers’ fields during the war. The name “Memorial Day” was officially established by Congress in 1967, and in 1971, as a result of the Federal Uniform Holidays Act, it was moved from May 30 to the last Monday in May.

The three-day weekend of Memorial Day is known for cookouts, parades, sales and the Indianapolis 500, but many would prefer that people focus on the true meaning of the day, and many do so.

If you are doing an assignment on Memorial Day or are looking for materials for your classroom, see the links in the text above and also check out the following eLibrary resources. Of course, you can always using Basic and Advanced searches to find out more on this and other topics.

Research Topics:

Arlington National Cemetery

Gettysburg Address

Marine Corps Memorial

Memorial Day

National World War II Memorial

Tomb of the Unknowns

Veterans Day

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

World War II

 

Books (linked tables of contents):

The American Revolution: A History in Documents

The Civil War: A History in Documents

The Vietnam War: A History in Documents

World War I: A History in Documents

 

Website (via eLibrary)

Library of Congress: Memorial Day