On November 11th in 1919, President Wilson proclaimed the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words:
"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"
On May 13th, 1938 Act: 52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday.
In 1954 the 83rd Congress amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans" to honor American veterans of all wars.
|President Eisenhower signing HR7786, changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day.|
Later that same year, on October 8th, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first "Veterans Day Proclamation" which stated:
"In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans' organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible."