Wednesday, November 11, 2009

11:00, 11/11

Why 11/11?

There is an excellent article on the history of Armistice Day/Veterans Day in the Encyclopedia of American Holidays and National Days by Len Travers, which we have here courtesy of Daily Life Online. November 11 marks the anniversary of the end of World War I.

"On the morning of November 11, 1918 the German government signed an armistice with Britain and France that called for the end of the war on the eleventh hour. In the morning, the war continued, but at 11:00 the guns fell silent."

Congress made Armistice Day an official federal holiday in 1938 (on the eve of World War II), but many Americans privately observed the date in the '20s and '30s by pausing for a moment of silence at the eleventh hour. On November 11, 1922, President Warren G. Harding lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This became a presidential tradition. ("Year Of" tidbit: Before the tomb was sealed, Crow leader Plenty Coups offered a traditional blessing for the souls of the unknown).

1n 1954, Armistice Day was offically renamed Veterans Day to honor the veterans of all American wars, not just of World War I.

Do not forget to join us today at the library at 1 pm for a special Veterans Day remembrance and the preview of the new Triplett Memorial Military History Collection!

Thank you to all of our Veterans and to those now serving.

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