Who Declared a National Holiday in 1938?

declared-national-holiday-1938 Credit: Shmuel Thaler/Photolibrary/Getty Images

The United States Congress declared Nov. 11 Armistice Day on May 13, 1938. This national holiday was made to commemorate the end of World War I on Nov. 11, 1918, and it was dedicated to world peace and honoring the soldiers who fought in the war.

The holiday was known as Armistice Day until June 1, 1954, when it was officially renamed Veteran's Day to include those soldiers who fought in World War II and the Korean War. Veteran's Day is still a national holiday as of 2014 and has been celebrated on Nov. 11 every year since 1954 with one exception.

Between the years of 1971 and 1977, Veteran's Day was changed to the fourth Monday of October to ensure federal employees received a three-day weekend during the holiday. However, after much confusion and protest, President Gerald Ford signed a law changing it back to the original date, starting in 1978.

If the holiday falls on a Saturday, then the federal government observes it on the previous Friday. If it falls on a Sunday, then it is observed on Monday.