Veterans Day: 5 Interesting facts about the holiday's history

Once observed in October

Reuters/Brendan McDermid
Reuters/Brendan McDermid

Although long observed every Nov. 11 on the anniversary of the World War I armistice, for a brief period of time, Veterans Day was actually observed at the federal level in October.

In 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which moved multiple holidays to Mondays to give federal government employees more three-day weekends.

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“The bill moved Veterans Day, at least on a federal level, to the last Monday in October, with the first observance of the new date in 1971,” explained the Constitution Center.

“Veterans groups moved quickly to oppose the date switch, and two states refused to switch their dates in 1971. By 1974, there was confusion over the two dates and most states took a pass on commemorating the holiday in October.”

By 1975, the backlash to the change became intense enough that Congress amended the law to move Veterans Day back to Nov. 11, with the return becoming finalized in 1978.

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