Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11 in honor of those who have served in the armed forces of the United States. It is a legal federal holiday.
The observation was originally designated in 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson as Armistice Day. Wilson selected November 11 because the Armistice ending World War I had been signed on this date in 1918. Wilson wanted to make sure that Americans did not forget the tragedies of the war. In 1938, Congress passed legislation which designated Armistice Day as a federal holiday. The name was changed to Veterans Day in 1954 so that all veterans would be honored. For a brief period (1971-1977), the holiday was celebrated on the fourth Monday in October.