Veterans Day, celebrated Nov. 11, was originally called “Armistice Day” to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front.

The holiday began in 1918, celebrating the end of the war and the idea of ending all war. A 10-year campaign launched that year by people in the United States and around the world resulted in the ratification of the Kellogg-Briand Pact, which legally banned all war making. That treaty, outlawing war, is still on the books.

The Kellogg-Briand Pact reads: “The High Contracting Parties solemnly declare in the names of their respective peoples that they condemn recourse to war for the solution of international controversies, and renounce it, as an instrument of national policy in their relations with one another. The High Contracting Parties agree that the settlement or solution of all disputes or conflicts of whatever nature or of whatever origin they may be, which may arise among them, shall never be sought except by pacific means.”

Natasha Mayers


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