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What You May Not Know About Veterans Day

Do you know how many veterans we have here in the U.S. or how Veterans Day got its start? Here are some interesting Veterans Day facts from the U.S. Census Bureau.

What You May Not Know About Veterans Day

How Did Veterans Day Begin?

Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day as a way to honor those who served in all American wars. The day honors military veterans with parades and speeches across the nation. A national ceremony takes place at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

About Our Veterans 

21.5 Million: The number of military veterans in the United States in 2011. 

Source: 2011 American Community Survey

1.6 Million: The number of female veterans in 2011.

Source: 2011 American Community Survey

2.3 Million: The number of black veterans in 2011. Additionally, 1.2 million veterans were Hispanic; 264,695 were Asian; 153,223 were American Indian or Alaska Native; 27,469 were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; and 17.2 million were non-Hispanic white. (The numbers for blacks, Asians, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, and non-Hispanic whites cover only those reporting a single race.)

Source: 2011 American Community Survey

9.2 Million: The number of veterans 65 and older in 2011. At the other end of the age spectrum, 1.8 million were younger than 35.

Source: 2011 American Community Survey 

When They Served

7.5 Million: Number of Vietnam-era veterans in 2011: 5.1 million served during the Gulf War (representing service from Aug. 2, 1990, to present); 1.8 million in World War II (1941-1945); 2.4 million in the Korean War (1950-1953); and 5.4 million in peacetime only.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey

Where They Live

3: Number of states with 1 million or more veterans in 2011. These states were California (1.9 million), Florida (1.6 million) and Texas (1.6 million).

Source: 2011 American Community Survey  

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