In the Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month, the Guns fell silent. The Armistice when into effect ending World War One. Armistice Day would become Veterans Day.
In 1953, an Emporia, Kansas shoe store owner named Alfred King had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who served in World War I. King had been actively involved with the American War Dads during World War II. He began a campaign to turn Armistice Day into “All” Veterans Day. The Emporia Chamber of Commerce took up the cause after determining that 90% of Emporia merchants as well as the Board of Education supported closing their doors on November 11 to honor veterans. With the help of then-U.S. Rep. Ed Rees, also from Emporia, a bill for the holiday was pushed through Congress. President Dwight Eisenhower signed it into law on May 26, 1954.
Congress amended this act on June 1, 1954, replacing “Armistice” with Veterans, and it has been known as Veterans Day since.
On October 3rd, 2010, Germany made it’s final reparations payment. This settled it’s outstanding debt from the 1919 Treaty of Versailles. The sum was initially set at 269 billion gold marks, around 96,000 tons of gold, before being reduced to 112 billion gold marks by 1929, payable over a period of 59 years. In 1931, payments were suspended and then quietly resumed in 1953.
Read more about the repayment here.
Read more Odd Facts in History here.