Veterans Day originated as ‘Armistice Day’ on November 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and November 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day as a way to honor those who served in all American wars.
This year as America pays tribute to its 23.2 million military veterans the Census Bureau has released a report that countsÂ American men and women who have served by race/ethnicity, by age, and by the wars in which they served. Also counted are those who served during three wars (World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam Conflict). Education, income, disabilities, the number of veterans in the labor force, and federal government spending for veterans benefits programsÂ are included. The report is available at Facts for Features: A Special Edition: Veterans Day 2009,