Two Native American men, 1923.
Courtesy, Library of Congress
Native American Heritage Month
What began at the turn of the 20th century as an effort to recognize the first Americans' contributions to the United States has evolved into a heritage month.
In 1915, the annual Congress of the American Indian Association met in Lawrence, KS, and formally approved "American Indian Day." Over the decades, states adopted "American Indian Day," but the idea did not gain national attention until the 1990s.
President George H. W. Bush approved the joint resolution making November 1990 "National American Indian Heritage Month." Similar proclamations have been issued annually since 1994.
President Obama's 2014 proclamation of National Native American Heritage Month expresses the far-reaching influence of these peoples on the United States. Read the proclamation.
November 11 Veterans Day
Veterans Day is observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. This preserves the historical significance of the date, and helps focus attention on Veterans Day's important purpose: to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good--whenever and wherever they are called.
The observance began with the cease-fire armistice between the Allied nations and Germany in World War I. It went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of "the war to end all wars." As decades passed and subsequent wars erupted, the November 11 observance evolved. Learn more.
November 16 Day for Tolerance
On its 50th anniversary, 16 November 1995, UNESCO's member states adopted a Declaration of Principles on Tolerance. This Declaration affirms that tolerance is respect and appreciation of the rich variety of our world's cultures, our forms of expression, and ways of being human. Tolerance recognizes the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of others. It is not only a moral duty, but also a political and legal requirement for individuals, groups and States. Learn more.
November 25 International Day
for the Elimination of Violence against Women
Although the 25th of every month is Orange Day, November 25th marks the infamous anniversary that began this movement. On November 25, 1960, the Mirabal Sisters, Dominican political dissidents who opposed the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo, were assassinated. Three of the four sisters were killed. In 1999, these women received recognition from the United Nations General Assembly, which designated November 25 as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women in their honor. Learn more.