Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin photographed in spacesuits with moon backdrop.

Fifty-two years ago today, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon, crossing the finish line first as the United States beat the Soviet Union in that particular heat of the space race. With over a billion people listening back on Planet Earth, Armstrong uttered the now-famous words, “That’s one small step […]

Boxer entering a ring, ready for a fight.

For those of us who work at the California Department of Veterans Affairs, however, every day is Veterans Day. It is our passion, our duty, and a labor of love to help veterans in all ways within our means. Many who work for CalVet are veterans themselves — veterans serving veterans. You, too, can make […]

Vintage postcard from the 4th of July, firecrackers.

The United States of America turns 245 years old today — with a healthy dose of Old Glory, bunting and barbecues, parades and picnics, fifes and fireworks. On July 4, 1776, 56 men including John Hancock, president of the Continental Congress, and Secretary Charles Thomson signed those fighting words known as the Declaration of Independence. […]

A family photo of the Archduke of Austria.

Without question, November 11, 1918, became the single most recognized date associated with World War I. On the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour that year, the armistice took effect and the fighting ended. Armistice Day ultimately became Veterans Day in the United States, and is among our most cherished holidays. […]

Young Lee in Korea wearing combat fatigues. Picture of a Navy Cross, which was awarded to him.

On a hilltop in Placerville, the El Dorado County Veterans Monument offers a beautiful and fitting tribute to those who served to defend this nation and its Constitution. Some are manifested by name and rank. Others, including Korean War hero and Marine Major Kurt Chew-Een Lee, are honored with plaques that can only begin to […]

Photo of the 562nd Air National Guard Band of the West

They’ve been spending much of the past 16 months in the wild bored yonder. They’ve been mostly limited to the halls of Ventura. They’ve been anchored away from family and friends. And, they’ve been longing to say “Hi! Hi! Hey” and go upon their merry way. Now, however, with COVID-19 pandemic restrictions finally easing, the […]

A photo of the Juneteenth flag and a copy of the General Order #3.

The state of California has reopened, and just in time for Juneteenth events that bring a great opportunity for celebration, education, and unity. Juneteenth – combining June and the nineteenth – represents June 19, 1865, the day when 250,000 enslaved people in Texas were told by Major General Gordon Granger that they were now free. […]

CalVet logo and American soldiers jumping out of a helicopter in Vietnam.

Some days can be hugely important and memorable: December 7 (the Pearl Harbor attack, 1941), June 6 (D-Day, 1944), and September 11 (the terrorists attacks in New York and the Pentagon, 2001). Others might be lesser known but important components of a much larger event, and that brings us to today, June 16. While numerous […]

In the late 1940s and into the mid-1950s, Senator Joseph R. McCarthy of Wisconsin ran an unsubstantiated and divisive campaign of deceit and distrust that shook the nation to its core. It came to a head 67 years ago this month, when McCarthy accused the United States Army of being infiltrated by communists, and ran […]

Paratroopers of the 82nd Airborne.

The invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944, began the final Allied forces’ push across Europe to destroy the Nazi regime and end the war in Europe. That battle alone led to 13 Americans ultimately receiving the Medal of Honor, the nation’s highest tribute to bravery in the face of the enemy. Army paratrooper Private […]