All About Veterans & Veterans Day History of Veterans Day World War I known at the time as The Great War - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919,in France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of the war to end all wars. In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the countrys service and with gratitude for the victory, both
because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations" An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nations history; after American forces had fought in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars. Later that year, on October 8th, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first "Veterans Day Proclamation" which stated: "In order to insure
proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans' organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible. 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. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to
celebrate the holidays on their original dates. 1.Germans were the first to use flamethrowers in WWI. Their flamethrowers could fire jets of flame as far as 130 feet (40 m). 2.More than 65 million men from 30 countries fought in WWI. Nearly 10 million died. The Allies (The Entente Powers) lost about 6 million soldiers. The Central Powers lost about 4 million. 3.There were over 35 million civilian and soldier casualties in WWI. Over 15 million died and 20 million were wounded. 4.Nearly 2/3 of military deaths in WWI were in battle. In previous conflicts, most deaths were due to disease. 5.During WWI, the Spanish flu caused about 1/3 of total military deaths. 6.Russia mobilized 12 million troops during WWI, making it the largest army in the war. More than 3/4 were killed, wounded, or went missing in action. 7.In August 1914, German troops shot and killed 150 civilians at Aerschot.
The killing was part of war policy known as Schrecklichkeit (frightfulness). Its purpose was to terrify civilians in occupied areas so that they would not rebel. 8.During WWI, British tanks were initially categorized into males and females. Male tanks had cannons, while females had heavy machine guns. 9.Little Willie was the first prototype tank in WWI. Built in 1915, it carried a crew of three and could travel as fast as 3 mph (4.8 km/h).c Artillery barrage Artillery barrage could be heard for hundreds of miles 10.Artillery barrage and mines created immense noise. In 1917, explosives blowing up beneath the German lines on Messines Ridge at Ypres in Belgium could be heard in London 140 miles (220 km) away. 11.The Pool of Peace is a 40-ft (12-m) deep lake near Messines, Belgium. It fills a crater made in 1917 when the British detonated a mine containing 45 tons of explosives. 12.During WWI, dogs were used as messengers and carried orders to the front
lines in capsules attached to their bodies. Dogs were also used to lay down telegraph wires. 13.Big Bertha was a 48-ton howitzer used by the Germans in WWI. It was named after the wife of its designer Gustav Krupp. It could fire a 2,050-lb (930kg) shell a distance of 9.3 miles (15 km). However, it took a crew of 200 men six hours or more to assemble. Germany had 13 of these huge guns or wonder weapons. landship Tanks were first used during the Battle of Flers-Courcelette (1916) 14.Tanks were initially called landships. However, in an attempt to disguise them as water storage tanks rather than as weapons, the British decided to code name them tanks. 15.The most successful fighter of the entire war was Rittmeister von Richthofen (1892-1918). He shot down 80 planes, more than any other WWI pilot. He died after being shot down near Amiens. France's Ren Fonck (1894-1953) was the Allies most successful fighter pilot, shooting down 75 enemy planes. 16.Margaretha Zelle (1876-1917), also known as Mata Hari, was accused of being a double agent. Though she always denied being a spy, the French executed her in 1917.
17.French Second Lieutenant Alfred Joubaire wrote in his diary about WWI just before he died that Humanity is mad! It must be mad to do what it is doing. What a massacre. What scenes of horror and carnage! I cannot find words to translate my impressions 18.Some Americans disagreed with the United States initial refusal to enter WWI and so they joined the French Foreign Legion or the British or Canadian army. A group of U.S. pilots formed the Lafayette Escadrille, which was part of the French air force and became one of the top fighting units on the Western Front. 19.In early 1917, British cryptographers deciphered a telegram from German Foreign Secretary Arthur Zimmermann to Germany's minister in Mexico. The telegraph encouraged Mexico to invade U.S. territory. The British kept it a secret from the U.S. for more than a month. They wanted to show it to the U.S. at the right time to help draw the U.S into the war on their side. 20.Woodrow Wilsons campaign slogan for his second term was He kept us out of war. About a month after he took office, the United States declared war on Germany on April 6th 1917. 21.To increase the size of the U.S. Army during WWI, Congress passed the Selective
Service Act, which was also known as the conscription or draft, in May 1917. By the end of the war, 2.7 million men were drafted. Another 1.3 million volunteered. 22.During WWI, people of German heritage were suspect in the U.S. Some protests against Germans were violent, including the burning of German books, the killing of German shepherd dogs, and even the murder of one German-American. 23. Victory Gardens were also called War Gardens 24.Herbert Hoover, who would become president in 1929, was appointed U.S. Food Administrator. His job was to provide food to the U.S. army and its allies. He encouraged people to plant Victory Gardens, or personal gardens. More than 20 million Americans planted their own gardens, and food consumption in the U.S decreased by 15%. 25.The total cost of WWI for the U.S. was more than $30 billion. 26.The term dogfight originated during WWI. The pilot had to turn off the planes engine from time to time so it would not stall when the plane turned quickly in the air. When a pilot restarted his engine midair, it sounded like dogs barking. The war left thousands of soldiers disfigured
and disabled. Reconstructive surgery was used to repair facial damage, but masks were also used to cover the most horrific disfigurement. Some soldiers stayed in nursing homes their entire lives World War 2 1.World War II was the most destructive conflict in history. It cost more money, damaged more property, killed more people, and caused more far-reaching changes than any other war in history. 2.The country with the largest number of WWII causalities was Russia, with over 21 million. 3.For every five German soldiers who died in WWII, four of them died on the Eastern Front. 4.It is estimated that 1.5 million children died during the Holocaust. Approximately 1.2 million of them were Jewish and tens of thousands were Gypsies.
5.Eighty percent of Soviet males born in 1923 didnt survive WWII. 6.Between 1939 and 1945, the Allies dropped 3.4 million tons of bombs, which averaged to 27,700 tons per month. 7.Russia and the Red Army were accused of several war crimes. 8.Many historians believe that the Battle at Stalingrad (1942-1943) is not only arguably the bloodiest battle in history (800,000-1,600,000 casualties), but also the turning point of WWII in Europe. Bergen Belsen camp Many severely ill concentration camp prisoners died after liberation 9.Even after the Allies arrived, many concentration camp prisoners were beyond help. In Bergen-Belsen, for example, 13,000 prisoners died after liberation. Nearly 2,500 of the 33,000 survivors of Dachau died within six weeks of liberation.i 10.Max Heiliger was the fictitious name the SS used to establish a bank account in which they deposited money, gold, and jewels taken from European Jews. 11. The longest battle of WWII was the Battle of the Atlantic, which lasted from 19391945. 12.The original abbreviation of the National Socialist Party was Nasos. The word Nazi
derives from a Bavarian word that means simple minded and was first used as a term of derision by journalist Konrad Heiden (1901-1966). 13.The swastika is an ancient religious symbol. It derives from the Sanskrit name for a hooked cross, which was used by ancient civilizations as a symbol of fertility and good fortune. It has been found in the ruins of Greece, Egypt, China, India, and Hindu temples. 14.In 1935, British engineer Robert Watson-Watt was working on a death ray that would destroy enemy aircraft using radio waves. His death ray instead evolved into radaror radio detection and ranging. 15.Out of the 40,000 men who served on U-boats during WWII, only 10,000 returned. 16.Survivors of both atomic bombings in Japan are called niju hibakusha, which literally means explosion-affected people. 17.Approximately 600,000 Jews served in the United States armed forces during WWII. More than 35,000 were killed, wounded, captured, or missing. Approximately 8,000 died in combat. However, only two Jewish soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor in WWII. 18.The Battle of the Bulge is the largest and deadliest battle for U.S. troops to date, with more
than 80,000 American deaths. 19.The Enola Gay became well known for dropping the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, but few people know the name of the B-29 that bombed Nagasaki. It was Bocks Car, named after the planes usual commander, Frederick Bock. 20.More Russians (military and civilians) lost their lives during the Siege of Leningrad than did American and British soldiers combined in all of WWII. 21.The Nazis murdered approximately 12 million people, nearly 6 million of those being Jews killed in the Holocaust (whole burnt). 22.During WWII, the Japanese launched 9,000 wind ship weapons of paper and rubberized-silk balloons that carried incendiary and anti-personnel bombs to the U.S. More than 1,000 balloons hit their targets and they reached as far east as Michigan. The only deaths resulting from a balloon bomb were six Americans (including five children and a pregnant woman) on a picnic in Oregon. 23.The Japanese Kamikaze (divine wind) tactic was suggested on October 19, 1944, by Vice-Admiral Onishi in an attempt to balance the technological advantage of invading American forces. Though the numbers are disputed, approximately
2,800 kamikaze pilots died. They sunk 34 U.S. ships, damaged 368, killed 4,900 sailors, and wounded 4,800. 24.Many Jews were subject to gruesome medical experiments. 25.In addition to Jews and gypsies, Jehovahs Witnesses were also persecuted and murdered in German concentration camps. 1.World War II Causalities by Country Country Military Deaths Civilian Deaths Total USSR
13,600,000 7,700,000 21,300,000 China 1,324,000 10,000,000 11,324,000 Germany
3,250,000 3,810,000 7,060,000 Poland 850,000 6,000,000 6,850,000 United States 500,000
0 500,000 Italy 330,000 80,000 410,000 Great Britain 326,000
62,000 388,000 1.Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Casualties City Hiroshima Nagasaki Casualties
90,000-166,000 60,000-80,000 Area Destroyed Weapon 4.7 sq miles Little Boy 15 kT (15,000 tons of TNT) 1.8 sq miles Fat Man 21 kT (21,000 tons of TNT)
1.Jewish Casualties of the Holocaust Country Estimated Number of Percent of the Jewish Jews Killed in the Population Holocaust Austria 50,000 36
estimates and vary according to source Bohemia / Moravia Benefits of being a United States Veteran Protect the ones you love Have a discount on purchasing a home Have help with funeral expenses Get a military pension (death pension goes to family members if you die in duty) Get help with counseling services (PTSD) Help with educational expenses The End!
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