The majority of federal employees will receive the day off work Thursday, Nov. 11 to honor Veterans Day this year.

Veterans Day is designated by the U.S. government as one of 12 federal holidays — along with New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Inauguration Day, George Washington’s birthday, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day — meaning nonessential employees get the day off and most essential employees required to work that day receive holiday premium pay.

Veterans Day began as Armistice Day in 1919, when President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the holiday to celebrate the temporary cessation of hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany during World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.

At the time, World War I was considered the “war to end all wars,” but World War II disproved that assumption, resulting in a 1954 decision to rename Armistice Day as Veterans Day to honor the veterans of all wars.

Jessie Bur covers the federal workforce and the changes most likely to impact government employees.

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