Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on November 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance. On May 13, 1938, new legislation made November 11th each year a national holiday - a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as "Armistice Day." In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name of the holiday from “Armistice Day” to “Veterans Day.”
Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans - living or dead - but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime. The Uniform Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250) was signed on June 28, 1968, and was intended to ensure three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. It was thought that these extended weekends would encourage travel, recreational and cultural activities and stimulate greater industrial and commercial production.
-The Aiken Foundation