Veterans Day is a celebration of service. World War I officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919, but the fighting ended on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918 when the Armistice was put into effect by the Allies and Germany. This suspension of hostilities was considered at the time to be the end of the war to end all wars. One year later, the Armistice was celebrated by the nation and in 1938 became a national holiday.
Armistice Day was to be a day in which our Nation paused to honor all the Veterans of WWI. However, after WWII and the Korean War, the Nov. 11 commemoration was changed to honor all veterans of all wars.
History of the Holiday
In 1954, President Eisenhower changed the national holiday name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day. In June 1968 under President Johnson, the official day of celebration was modified by Congress in the Uniform Holidays Bill to be the fourth Monday in October. The hope was that the long weekend would stimulate the economy with travel and other celebrations. The first Veterans Day under this new bill was celebrated on Oct. 25, 1971.
Although Oct. 25 was the first new Veterans Day date, many states decided to continue commemorating veterans on Nov. 11. It took about four years for Congress to realize that U.S. citizens honored the significance of what happened on Nov. 11, 1918 and were going to continue to celebrate Veterans Day on that historic date rather than the day stipulated in the Uniform Holidays Bill. On Sep. 20, 1975, President Ford signed another bill to return the celebration of the Veterans Day national holiday to Nov. 11th of each year, starting in 1978.
To this day, countries around the world still celebrate veterans on Nov. 11. The name of the holiday may vary, but sentiments for the service and sacrifice of veterans remains the same.
Cobb County History
In Cobb County Georgia, Veterans Day has been celebrated with parades and festivities for many years. Cobb County has a long history of military service to include the armistice of WWI, when the significance of the holiday began.
Headlines on the Cobb County Times reported the casualties of WWI. Cobb County not only contributed in lives, but raised thousands of dollars in one day to support the United War Work Fund, a fundraising effort to help with the demobilization of the war and funding of the subsequent occupation.
History.com Editors. (2021, November 8). Veterans Day Facts. Retrieved from History,com: https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/veterans-day-facts
Staff Reporter. (1918, November 14). Cobb County News. Retrieved from MDJ Archives Services: https://www.mdjonline.com/
Signing by the President Upon Signing the Uniform Holiday Bill (June 28, 1968): https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/documents/statement-the-president-upon-signing-the-uniform-holiday-bill
The History of Georgia in WWI. (2020, September 29). Retrieved from The United States World War One Centennial Commission: https://www.worldwar1centennial.org/index.php/georgia-ww1-history-page.html
Local Cobb County News Archives. Retrieved from Marietta Daily Journal Online Archives (1866-October 1998) https://www.mdjonline.com/archives/