By David Tucker

November 11 is Veterans Day, which has been observed under its current name since 1954 and honors all American veterans.

The quiz below, from the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University, Ashland, Ohio, provides an opportunity for you to test your knowledge of this national holiday, its origins, and the role of veterans in our national life.

1. Before 1954, the American holiday honoring veterans was called what?

Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. (History)

2. November 11 was chosen for what reason?

In the USA, Veterans Day annually falls on November 11. This day is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice, which ended the World War I hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany in 1918. (Time and Date)

3. According to U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates, there were how many living veterans in the United States as of September 30, 2018?

4. Approximately how many of these veterans served during World War II?

5. As early as 1789, the federal government began providing what benefit to veterans?

In 1789, the U.S. federal government passed legislation assuming full responsibility for making the pension payments to disabled veterans. From then on, the federal government passed further legislation increasing benefits for veterans and their families as the country grew ever more prosperous. (Pension Retirement)

6. Which president signed legislation making the Veterans Administration the Department of Veterans Affairs, giving it official Cabinet status?

It was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan on 25 October 1988, but actually came into effect under the term of his successor, George H. W. Bush, on 15 March 1989. The Department of Veterans Affairs was created due to nearly one third of the population being eligible for veterans benefits. (Wikipedia)

7. All of the following countries honor veterans on November 11 except this country?

In Italy, soldiers who died for the nation are remembered on 4 November, when the ceasefire that followed the Armistice of Villa Giusti in 1918 began. The Day is known as the Day of National Unity Day of the Armed Forces, Giorno dell'Unità Nazionale Giornata delle Forze Armate in Italian. (Wikipedia)

8. According to the most recent data available, approximately what percentage of veterans are women?

In 2015, women comprised 9.4 percent of the total Veteran population in the United States. (va.gov)

9. Which president said the following of Veterans Day: “On that day let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting and enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.”

"NOW, THEREFORE, I, DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, President of the United States of America, do hereby call upon all of our citizens to observe Thursday, November 11, 1954, as Veterans Day. On that day let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting and enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain." (Teaching American History)

10. Which of the following celebrities is not a veteran?

Ice-T: Before this gangster rapper-turned-actor had a successful career in the entertainment industry, he served his country in the U.S. Army. Ice-T, or Tracy Lauren Marrow, joined the Army in 1979 after graduating from Crenshaw High School. (Military). Chuck Norris: He joined the United States Air Force as an Air Policeman (AP) in 1958 and was sent to Osan Air Base, South Korea. It was there that Norris acquired the nickname Chuck and began his training in Tang Soo Do (tangsudo), an interest that led to black belts in that art and the founding of the Chun Kuk Do ("Universal Way") form. (Wikipedia). Gary Sinise: For over thirty years, Gary Sinise has stood as an advocate of America's servicemen and women. It began in the early 80's with his support of Vietnam veterans and continued into the 90's in support of the Disabled American Veterans organization raising awareness and support for our wounded service members. (AUSA).

1-C; 2-A; 3-D; 4-B; 5-B; 6-D; 7-A; 8-C; 9-A; 10-B.

About the Author 

David Tucker is the director of Teacher Programs at the Ashbrook Center at Ashland University and general editor of Ashbrook’s “Core Document Collection” of historical documents. 

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