It’s pretty ingrained in us now. Every November eleventh, we get together with our veteran buddies and head over to Applebees (or a comparable pro-military restaurant) to celebrate with a free entrée from their select Veterans Day menu. Many of us don’t even give it much thought, as it’s really no different than any other day of the year except for the promotions and discounts. We almost end up taking the day for granted, but if you actually dig into the history of Veterans Day, it’s actually pretty enlightening in how it came to be but also how many people are completely wrong in what they think they know about Veterans Day. So here are 3 major misconceptions about Veterans Day that you can impress your friends with as you enjoy your free chocolate lava cake this upcoming Veterans Day.
FALSE FACT #1: VETERANS DAY ALWAYS FELL ON NOVEMBER 11. A Congressional Act approved in 1938, made November 11 in each year a legal holiday: "a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day'." This makes sense as the “armistice” in question is the one that ended World War I and major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. It wasn’t until 1954 however, that congress amended the bill from “Armistice Day” to “Veterans Day,” thereby recognizing the holiday to honor all American Veterans instead of just narrowing it down to those who served in WWI.
So it was settled. Veterans Day was suppose to be on November 11…EXCEPT the Uniform Monday Holiday Act which went into effect in 1971, mandated that Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of every October. Why do you ask? Because the politicians at the time felt that tradition be damned, and this would increase travel and spending, thereby stimulating the US economy. So from 1971-1977, Americans celebrated Veterans Day in October until people came to their senses and moved the day back to November 11, in 1978.
FALSE FACT #2: PRESIDENT EISENHOWER WAS THE DRIVING FORCE BEHIND VETERANS DAY. Ok, this one’s not 100% false and Ike is technically the president who signed the bill that changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day in 1954. However the person who is considered the “Father of Veterans Day” is a WW II veteran named Raymond Weeks. Basically, Raymond experienced some shit just like everybody else who served in WW II, and when he got back home he saw that only the WW I guys were getting recognized in November and threw up a giant WTF. He fought alongside his local congressman for almost 10 years before he was able to get Ike to sign the bill into law, so if it wasn’t for Mr. Weeks none of you would be getting that free meal unless you were doing some trench warfare back during WW I.
FALSE FACT #3: VETERAN’S DAY IS SPELLED VETERAN’S DAY. Ok, this one actually blew our minds. So, there is apparently no apostrophes to be found anywhere on the bill signed by President Eisenhower converting Armistice Day to Veterans Day. That’s right, if you’ve been spelling it Veteran’s Day or Veterans’ Day, you (and us too for a while) are dead wrong. Crazy right? Now we have to go back and edit all of our old IG posts 😫
So there you have it. You are now freshly armed with some knowledge bombs, but please try not to a douche about it this upcoming Nov 11, when you correct everyone at the bar with a “IT’S VETERANS DAY YOU IGNORANT NEANDERTHALS!!!”