Americans celebrate Veterans Day every year on November 11th, but there are several things you may not know about the American holiday. Here are eight facts you didn't know about Veterans Day according to the History Channel:

  1. Veterans Day was the first anniversary of the end of World War I and started out as Armistice Day. This was in honor of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month when WWI ended.
  2. President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the holiday's name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day in 1954.
  3. It became a national holiday in 1938 and pays tribute to ALL American veterans, alive or dead.
  4. As of 2018, there were 18.2 million living veterans in the US who served during at least one war.
  5. Every year at 11 a.m. on Veterans Day there is a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unkown Soldier. The first Unknown Soldier was reburied at Arlington National Cemetary on November 11th, 1921. Inscribed on the back of the Tomb are the words: "Here rests in honored glory an American soldier known but to God."
  6. America isn't the only one to observe Veterans Day. On or near November 11th France, Australia, Canada, and Great Britain honor their veterans.
  7. It's Veterans Day - there is no apostrophe. The holiday is not possessive, therefore it does not belong to one veteran (veteran's) and it does not belong to multiple veterans (veterans'). This day honors all veterans.
  8. It wasn't always observed on November 11th. In 1968 the Uniform Holidays Bill passed by Congress moved the holiday to the fourth Monday in October. A few years later, in 1975, President Gerald Ford returned Veterans Day to November 11th.

Due to concerns of COVID-19, this year Veterans Day may look different across the country. See photos below of how America has celebrated Veterans Day in past years.

LOOK: 100 years of American military history

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