TIME conflict

How Veterans Day Came to Be

World War One Armistice
A military parade in celebration of Armistice day following World War One, New York, 1918. Paul Thompso—FPG / Getty Images

It was almost 'Mayflower Day'

On Nov. 11, many years ago, a group of men gathered in a transport to sign a document with vast repercussions for the world.

This wasn’t the signing of the Armistice in a train car in France on Nov. 11, 1918, which brought World War 1 hostilities to an end; that happened centuries later. This was the signing of the Mayflower Compact, on the ship of the same name, that in 1620 established governing rules for the Plymouth Colony, one of the earliest settlements in North America.

The date of the Mayflower Compact signing has largely been eclipsed by the Armistice, which ended a war that killed more than 16 million people, including over 100,000 Americans. After the conflict, Americans commemorated the moment “from coast to coast and frontier to frontier,” as TIME wrote in 1927. Congress officially dubbed the date Armistice Day in 1926 and made it a national holiday in 1938.

But creating a formal holiday soon looked tragically premature. Nazi Germany invaded Poland a year later, unleashing the Second World War and shattering the tenuous peace wrought by the Armistice. Even before the United States entered the war, Armistice Day felt obsolete here. “To many Americans the events of the last 15 months have made the Armistice seem less important and less worthy of a national holiday,” TIME wrote in an article in November 1940. “So last week Dr. Francis Carr Stifler, editorial secretary of the American Bible Society, suggested that it would be far more appropriate to celebrate the anniversary of the Mayflower Compact this Monday.”

Stifler called the Mayflower Compact “the cornerstone on which stand the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights.”

His proposal didn’t take hold, but the sentiment remained. How could America commemorate the end of World War I when a conflict less than two decades later mobilized 16.5 million Americans and cost the lives of 400,000? On Nov. 11, 1947, World War II veteran Raymond Weeks organized a parade in Birmingham that honored all veterans. (Memorial Day, a much older holiday, commemorates Americans who have died in the armed services.) Dubbed “National Veterans Day,” that occasion is credited as the first celebration using the term Veterans Day, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.

U.S. Representative Edward Rees of Kansas soon proposed changing the official name of the Nov. 11 holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day, and Congress renamed the Nov. 11 holiday in 1954.

The official date would go through one more makeover. Veterans Day was swept up in a movement by the federal government, under pressure from the travel industry, to shift national holidays to Monday and allow for more three-day weekends. In 1968, Congress rescheduled Washington’s Birthday (later known as Presidents’ Day), Memorial Day, Columbus Day and Veterans Day to fall consistently on Mondays. But as the VA writes, ” November 11 was a date of historic significance to many Americans.” Congress shifted the official holiday back to Nov. 11 in 1978.

Read the 1927 story about how the winners and losers of World War I observed Armistice Day: Armistice

TIME Research

PTSD Raises Risk of Premature Birth, Study Says

The researchers hope that treating PTSD could reduce the risks of premature birth

An analysis of more than 16,000 births by female veterans found that women with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are significantly more likely to give birth prematurely.

PTSD has long been suspected of increasing the risk of premature delivery, but the study, jointly conducted by Stanford University and the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs, provides strong support for the need to treat mothers with PTSD.

“Stress is setting off biologic pathways that are inducing preterm labor,” Ciaran Phibbs, the study’s senior author and an associate professor of pediatrics at Stanford, said in a statement. The study, published online on Thursday in Obstetrics & Gynecology, offered hope that treatment could prove effective in reducing the risk. While women with PTSD in the year leading up to delivery faced a higher risk of premature delivery, women who had been diagnosed with PTSD but had not experienced symptoms of the disorder in the past year did not.

“This makes us hopeful that if you treat a mom who has active PTSD early in her pregnancy, her stress level could be reduced, and the risk of giving birth prematurely might go down,” Phibbs said.

The implications extend beyond women in combat, since PTSD is not unique to combat. In fact, half of the veterans in the study had never been deployed to combat.

TIME movies

Channing Tatum, Demián Bichir Join Cast of Tarantino’s Hateful Eight

The Hateful Eight
The Hateful Eight The Weinstein Company

The Hateful Eight will have some familiar Tarantino actors as well as newcomers to the director's recognizable style

21 Jump Street and Magic Mike star Channing Tatum has joined the cast of Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming film Hateful Eight, along with Demián Bichir, an Oscar-nominated actor from Mexico probably still most recognized for his role in Showtime’s Weeds as a drug cartel boss and boyfriend of Mary Louise Parker’s character.

The Weinstein Company confirmed the lineup for the 2015 Western that is “set six or eight or twelve years after the Civil War” in “the wintry Wyoming landscape,” according to a press release.

The Hateful Eight will feature some familiar faces from the Tarantino oeuvre, including Samuel L. Jackson (of course), Kurt Russell, Tim Roth and Michael Madsen. The film also stars Tarantino newcomers (but seasoned veterans of film) Jennifer Jason Leigh and Bruce Dern.

TIME ebola

Ebola Survivor Amber Vinson Opens Up About Her Experience

Dallas Nurse Discharged From Emory Hospital After Recovery From Ebola Virus
Amber Vinson a Texas nurse who contracted Ebola after treating an infected patient stands with her nursing team during a press conference after being released from care at Emory University Hospital on Aug. 1, 2014 in Atlanta. Daniel Shirey—Getty Images

"You don't want to hear that you have Ebola"

Amber Vinson, a 29-year-old nurse at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, remembers the moment a doctor confirmed her diagnosis.

“Even when he told me I had it, it’s like I didn’t hear it,” she told People in one of her first interviews since she recovered from the deadly virus. “Because you don’t want to hear that you have Ebola.”

The nurse had spent multiple nights treating Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to be diagnosed with Ebola in the U.S. When he died on Oct. 8, she was distraught, but she didn’t realize that she, too, had contracted the virus until her temperature spiked days later.

Read more at People

TIME National Security

Revealed: The Navy SEAL Who Killed bin Laden

Former SEALs preemptively revealed his name in protest of his decision to come forward

The identity of the Navy SEAL who shot and killed Osama bin Laden was a closely held secret until Thursday, when a site operated by former SEALs disclosed his name.

Robert O’Neill, a 38-year-old Montana native, was planning to reveal that he killed bin Laden in the May 2011 raid next week in interviews with Fox News and the Washington Post. But the former SEALs released his name in protest of his decision to come forward.

Read more at the Washington Post

Read next: Former Navy SEAL Who Wrote Bin Laden Raid Book Under Investigation

TIME White House

Report: Obama Sent Secret Letter to Ayatullah Khamenei

From Left: Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Barack Obama
From left: Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatullah Ali Khamenei and U.S. President Barack Obama Reuters; Getty Images

The White House has not confirmed the letter

President Barack Obama wrote a secret letter to Iran’s Ayatullah Ali Khamenei last month, laying out a shared interest in fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), according to a media report based on anonymous sources.

Obama used the letter to try to win support for the U.S.-led strikes against the Sunni Islamist group and to push for a deal over Iran’s nuclear program ahead of a Nov. 24 deadline, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Khamenei, Iran’s Supreme Leader, has been critical of U.S.-led strikes, claiming the West is using ISIS as an excuse to intervene in the Middle East, and has been highly skeptical of the nuclear talks being conducted under the purview of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

At a White House news conference on Thursday, spokesperson Josh Earnest said he could not confirm the letter.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal

TIME legal

Feds Arrest Alleged Operator of ‘Silk Road 2.0′

Authorities claim Blake Benthall, 26, was behind the illegal online marketplace

A man who allegedly ran a copycat website of a shuttered online marketplace used for the anonymous sale of illegal drugs and other goods was arrested on Wednesday in San Francisco, federal authorities said Thursday.

Investigators claim that Blake Benthall, 26, co-created Silk Road 2.0 in November 2013 after the man accused of founding the original Silk Road — Ross Ulbricht, known as “Dread Pirate Roberts” — was arrested and had his site shut down the month earlier. Operating under the name “Defcon,” the officials allege, Benthall owned and operated “one of the most extensive, sophisticated, and widely used criminal marketplaces on the Internet today.”

The marketplace, which shielded its some 150,000 active users with Tor technology and appears to have been seized by federal authorities, was apparently generating sales of about $8 million each month, primarily in illicit drugs.

“Let’s be clear—this Silk Road, in whatever form, is the road to prison,” Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said in a statement. “Those looking to follow in the footsteps of alleged cybercriminals should understand that we will return as many times as necessary to shut down noxious online criminal bazaars. We don’t get tired.”

Benthall is charged with money laundering, conspiring to commit computer hacking, conspiring to traffic in fraudulent identification documents and conspiring to commit narcotics trafficking. The latter charge carries a sentence between 10 years and life in prison. He is expected to appear in federal court in San Francisco on Thursday.

TIME Immigration

Over 11 Million Played the U.S. Green Card Lottery This Year

Program may be nixed if Senate overhauls federal immigration policy

More than 11 million people applied for the annual U.S. visa lottery this year, up 11 percent from a year earlier even as the program appears to be on the verge of ending.

Less than than .5 percent of applicants will receive the opportunity to become permanent residents through the popular program, which has provided green cards to lottery winners since 1990.

But the lottery, which accounts for roughly 5 percent of legal immigration according to the Wall Street Journal, may be eliminated if the Senate passes an overhaul of immigration policy this year, with critics arguing that the lottery can be a security risk, provides residency to low-skilled immigrants, and is unfair to foreigners with family connections to the U.S.

Its backers say the system is particularly beneficial for communities with fewer connections to the United States.

“We must continue our tradition of welcoming people from around the world to the United States,” Rep. Yvette D. Clarke, a Democrat from Brooklyn, told the Journal. “I will work to expand the program, which has been critical for many people from Africa, the Caribbean, and Eastern Europe who would not otherwise have the opportunity to come here.”

TIME Military

U.S. Army Changes Policy Approving Use of Word ‘Negro’

"The racial definitions ... are outdated, currently under review, and will be updated shortly."

The Army has amended “outdated” U.S. Army policy guidelines that said that the word “Negro” could be used to refer to African Americans in data on race and ethnicity, after the regulation surfaced in media reports Wednesday.

LTC Ben Garrett confirmed to TIME that the language referring to the word “Negro” was removed from the Army Command Policy on Thursday.

The regulation appeared in a section on equal opportunity and may have dated back years. As CNN reports, citing an anonymous army official, the regulation may have been intended to allow African Americans to self-report as Negro.

In fact, the Census Bureau included the word on surveys through 2010 for that reason, deciding only last year to drop it, according to the Associated Press. Until then, the government believed that some older African Americans would still identify as “Negro,” a term that arose during the Jim Crow era of racial segregation, the AP reported.

In the wake of sometimes breathless media reports about the regulation, the Army said it would follow suit.

“The racial definitions in AR600-20 para. 6-2 are outdated,” Garrett said in a statement before the regulation was altered. “The Army takes pride in sustaining a culture where all personnel are treated with dignity and respect and not discriminated against based on race, color, religion, gender and national origin.”

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