The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Federal Holiday

Veterans Day - A Day Dedicated to the Cause of World Peace

Veterans Day is an official United States public holiday, observed annually on November 11, that honors military veterans.

November 11th is also known as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day in other countries and marks the date of the armistice agreement that ended the first World War in 1918.  On May 13, 1938 Congress declared November 11th "a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day'."  In 1954, Congress replaced "Armistice" with "Veterans" in an amendment, and it hasn't changed since. 

Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day. Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day honors those who died while in military service.  

July 4th, 2017 - Celebrating Our Independence

Congress declared the Fourth of July a federal holiday in 1870 as a day to celebrate the independence of the United States of America. The holiday is traditionally marked by fireworks, parades, and other outdoors celebrations across the country, the biggest being the Macy's Fourth of July fireworks show in New York City. Many politicians and public figures make public speeches honoring the country's history and heritage.

Here in the Upper Valley, local towns and cities, such as Hanover, Lebanon, and Woodstock all have multiple events to celebrate this federal holiday.

The Hanover Improvement Society will be hosting Hanover's 24th Annual Old Fashioned 4th of July Celebration beginning with a parade at 10am from Harvey Lane to the Dartmouth Green followed by the pledge of allegiance and public performance of the National Anthem. 

For more information visit: http://www.hanoverrec.com/forms/4453_poster_16.pdf

Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2017

Martin Luther King Jr. served as an important icon of the American civil rights movement. He fought nonviolently for racial equality up until his assassination in 1968. In 1983, President Ronald Reagan signed legislation to create a holiday commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. on the third Monday of January. This falls near MLK’s birthday on January 15th. As of 2000, all 50 states observe the holiday that honors Dr. King’s fight for justice and equality.

There are many opportunities at Dartmouth College to celebrate MLK Day. Today there will be a Keynote Performance with Rev. Osagyefo Sekou with remarks by President Phil Hanlon '77 and Selome Ejigu ’17 at 7pm in Moore Theater. The 25th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Candlelight Vigil Procession will also take place today at 5pm in Cutter-Shabazz Hall. Click here to see a full listing of events.

Labor Day: Celebrating the American Labor Movement

The first Monday in September has annually been celebrated as Labor Day since 1894. Labor Day exists to celebrate workers, their families, and the American Labor Movement, however, its origins are unclear.

Some believe that machinist Matthew Maguire first proposed the idea as the secretary of New York's Central Labor Union in 1882, while others believe that Peter J. Maguire of the American Federation of Labor came up with the idea first. In any case, states began adopting the holiday beginning with Oregon in 1887.

Congress and President Grover Cleveland didn't declare it a federal holiday until 1894, six days after the nationwide railroad worker strike, otherwise known as the Pullman Strike. The strike resulted in thirty deaths at the hands of federal military forces, as the government was upset that the railroads were shut down and wanted to get them working again. 

Labor Day has become somewhat of an unofficial end-of-summer holiday and celebrations often manifest themselves in picnics, barbecues, road trips, and sports events. For students, it is the last of the summer vacation season before the start of the new school year.

July 4th, 2016: Celebrating 240 Years of Independence

Congress declared the Fourth of July a federal holiday in 1870 as a day to celebrate the independence of the United States of America.  Today, communities across the nation mark this holiday with fireworks, parades, and an array of other outdoors celebrations, the largest display being the Macy's Fourth of July fireworks show in New York City.  Traditionally, various politicians and public figures also make public addresses honoring the country's history and heritage.  This year, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama will celebrate the holiday by hosting military families for an Independence Day celebration at the White House with a barbeque, fireworks, and concert.

Here in the Upper Valley, local towns and cities, such as Hanover, Lebanon, and Woodstock all host an abundance of festivities that you can join in to celebrate this grand and momentous midsummer holiday.

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The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences