Veterans Day Fast Facts

Posted at 4:56 PM, Nov 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-10 16:56:40-05

(CNN) — Here’s a look at Veterans Day, a holiday honoring men and women who have served in the US armed forces.

November 11, 2017 – Veterans Day

Facts: (American Community Survey)

Celebrated annually on November 11th, the anniversary of the end of World War I.

There are 18.5 million veterans in the United States, according to the most recent statistics available.

There are 1.6 million female veterans.

There are 9.2 million veterans over the age of 65.

November 11, 1918 – The armistice ending World War I begins at 11 am.

1919 – President Woodrow Wilson proclaims November 11 as Armistice Day.

November 11, 1921 – The first Unknown Soldier is reburied at Arlington National Cemetery. The tomb has the words inscribed, “Here rests in honored glory An American Soldier Known but to God.”

May 13, 1938 – Armistice Day becomes a federal holiday.

June 1, 1954 – President Dwight Eisenhower signs a bill changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day in order to include all US veterans.

May 30, 1958 – Unknown Soldiers from World War II and the Korean War are reburied next to the Unknown Soldier from World War I.

1968 – Congress changes the date of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October in order to give federal employees a three-day weekend. The change begins in 1971.

September 25, 1975 – President Gerald Ford changes the date of Veterans Day back to November 11. The change begins in 1978.

May 28, 1984 – An unknown soldier from the Vietnam War is reburied in Arlington National Cemetery. In 1998, he is identified through DNA tests as Michael Blassie, a 24-year-old pilot shot down in 1972 on the border of Cambodia.