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Sunday, November 8, 2015
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11 Things You Probably Didn't Know About

Veterans Day

Veterans Day is here, a day of respect and remembrance for those who have served our country. Here are some things you probably didn't know about Veterans Day and one fact about veterans everyone should know.

1.       Veterans Day was created in 1919 when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11th to be Armistice Day.

2.       Veterans Day became a federal holiday in 1938 though at the time it was still called Armistice Day.

3.       President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill that changed the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day to include all veterans of all wars, not just those of World War I.

4.       In 1968, a bill was passed in Congress that moved Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. The law went into effect in 1971 but President Ford returned it to November 11th in 1975.

5.       The United States isn’t alone in celebrating its veterans on November 11th. Canada and the United Kingdom also honor their veterans on this date. Outside the United States the day is still called Armistice Day or Remembrance Day.

6.       There are over 23 million veterans in the United States. Over 9 million veterans are over the age of 65. There are still over 2 million veterans from World War II and 2 million from Korea. There are over 5 million veterans from the Gulf War era, which runs from Aug. 2, 1990 to present.

7.       Frank Buckles was the last veteran from World War I. He died in 2011 at the age of 110. He served as an ambulance driver in France during WWI. During WWII, Frank was taken prisoner by Japanese forces while working as a civilian in the Philippines in January 1942. He spent three years and two months as a prisoner of war despite being a civilian at the time.

8.       California has the largest veteran population in the country with just over 2 million veterans. Four other states have populations of over 1 million veterans. They are Florida, Texas, New York and Pennsylvania.

9.       There are about 39,000 veterans in the United States who fought in World War II, Korea and Vietnam still alive.

10.     On November 11, 1921, the first unknown soldier was buried at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.

11.     Every day, 22 veterans commit suicide. That is 22 too many and not enough is being done to help break that trend. You can help simply by calling a veteran you know and seeing how they are doing.


10 Famous Celebrities You Probably Didn't Know Were Veterans 

(well, maybe 9)

1.        During World War II, Bea Arthur served in the U.S. Marine Corps.

2.        In 1954, George Carlin joined the Air Force. He was trained as a radar technician and was stationed in Barksdale Air Force Base in Bossier City, Louisiana.

3.        Before he became a movie icon, Humphrey Bogart served in the US Navy.

4.        The former “American Idol” contestant, Josh Gracin, was a member of the United States Marine Corps.

5.        Drew Carey enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve in 1980 and served for six years. 

6.        Comedian Bill Cosby enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1956. He trained as a hospital corpsman. He was also assigned to work with Korean War casualties.

7.        Tony Bennett was enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1944 during WWII, where he served in France and Germany. According to Military.com, it was while he was in the army that Bennett got his first opportunity to sing — with a military band.

8.        Montel Williams enlisted in the U.S. Marines upon graduating high school in 1974. He retired as a lieutenant commander in the US Navy Reserve after 22 years of service.

9.        Elvis received his draft notice in 1957 and was inducted into the Army the following March. He eventually served in Germany for about a year and a half.  He left the army in 1960 and returned to his music career.

10.      After graduating high school in 1955, Morgan Freeman joined the Air Force, where he served as a radar technician. He left the Air Force in 1959.


"Blue Christmas" is a Christmas song written by Billy Hayes and Jay W. Johnson and most famously performed by Elvis Presley. It is a tale of unrequited love during the holidays and is a longstanding staple of Christmas music, especially in the country genre.

The song was first recorded by Doye O'Dell in 1948, and was popularized the following year in three separate recordings: one by country artist Ernest Tubb; one by musical conductor and arranger Hugo Winterhalter and his orchestra; and one by bandleader Russ Morgan and his orchestra (the latter featuring lead vocals by Morgan and backing vocals by singers credited as the Morganaires).  Elvis Presley cemented the status of "Blue Christmas" as a rock-and-roll holiday classic  by recording it for his 1957 LP Elvis' Christmas Album. Presley's version is notable musicologically as well as culturally in that the vocal group the Jordanaires.