In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as 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..."

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Veterans Day

Until 1954, Veterans Day was called Armistice Day.

President Woodrow Wilson called for the creation of Armistice Day in 1919, one year after World War I concluded, and the day became a federal holiday in 1938. But after the the Second World War in 1945 a veteran named Raymond Weeks petitioned General Dwight D. Eisenhower to change the holiday to honor all veterans.

The idea made sense. World War II involved a far greater mobilization of the country's resources than World War I, and in the end nearly four times as many Americans lost their lives in the conflict. Nine years and the Korean War later Eisenhower, then president, signed Veterans Day into law.

Armistice Day, also known as Remembrance Day, is still a big deal in the United Kingdom, where citizens pin poppy flowers to their clothing in homage to the John McCrae's iconic "In Flanders Field" poem.

Resources

Lesson plans include background and knowledge acquisition skills to help introduce or reinforce the history of Veterans Day and it’s importance. Lesson suggestions include concept-based projects that bring “real-world” meaning to the material. Students will gain foundational knowledge, analyze cause and effect relationships and how events experienced by our veterans impact the future.

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Timeline

Our interactive timeline will allow students to evaluate primary and secondary sources, empowering them to build historical mindfulness from academic content areas.

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America at War 5:09

Videos

Engage students’ minds and help them understand how the past has effected the present with videos about the people and events of the Civil War, WW1, WW2, the Korean War and other conflicts.

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World War I 2:03