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November is Native American Heritage Month:

The month of November was designated as National American Indian Heritage Month in August 1990 by the U.S. Congress and approved by President George H. W. Bush. Previous to that time, a week was set aside for Native American Awareness Week. The terms "American Indian" or "Native American" apply to hundreds of tribes speaking approximately 250 languages. In 1996, President William Clinton proclaimed, "Throughout our history, American Indian and Alaska Native peoples have been an integral part of the American character. Against all odds, America's first peoples have endured, and they remain a vital cultural, political, social and moral presence."

 

Read more on our Heritage Month Guide.

1. Christian: All Saints Day

This Christian holiday celebrates the memory of the Christian saints and martyrs, and also of family members who have died. In many countries, including Spain, Mexico and Poland it is a public holiday, and people often visit family graves.

1. Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos): Mexico

Beginning on the evening of October 31 and celebrated through November 2 by Mexicans and Mexican Americans, this holiday has its roots in two traditions: the Christian observance of All Saints and All Souls Day, and two Aztec festivals in which the souls of the dead were welcomed back to visit those who remembered them. Día de los Muertos, or the Day of the Dead, and is one of the most important and dramatic holidays of the year. 

2. Christian: All Souls Day

This is a Roman Catholic holiday for commemorating those souls who have been baptized, but who are still considered to be in purgatory for committing lesser sins. Prayers offered on their behalf are thought by Roman Catholics to help cleanse these sins and increase their likelihood of entering heaven.

8. Jain: New Year

The Jain New Year, or Veer Samvat, begins the day after the festival of Diwali and is a time of joyful celebration. In 2018, this marks the beginning of Jain New Year 2075. Jainism is an ancient religion in India; its followers are called Jains. Derived from a Sanskrit word, Jain connotes the "victory" of successful passage of life's rebirths through an ethnical and spiritual life. Most Jains live in India, however, four to five followers can be found around the world.

11. Veterans Day: United States

Originally called Armistice Day, this holiday commemorates the day in 1918 that an armistice was signed by the Allies and the Germans at "the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month," bringing World War I to an end. In 1954, the U.S. Congress changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day, and it now honors all who have served in all the nation's military.

16. Dutch American Heritage Day: United States

On November 14, 1991, President George H. W. Bush signed a proclamation later adopted by Congress establishing November 16 as a day to recognize the contributions made by people of Dutch ancestry to the United States. The Dutch settled in North America in the 1600s, creating in 1625 the colony of New Amsterdam in what is now Manhattan. Both Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt were descendants of Claes Martenszen van Rosenvelt, a farmer who settled in New Amsterdam in the 1640s.

16. International Day of Tolerance: United Nations

In 1996, the U.N. General Assembly established the International Day for Tolerance to promote respect for and appreciation of the world's many religions, languages, cultures, and ethnicities, and to recognize the universal human rights and fundamental freedoms of others.

18. Wilma Mankiller (1945-2010): American Indian (Cherokee)

Wilma Mankiller, an Indian rights activist, was born in Mankiller Flats near Tahlequah, Oklahoma to a Cherokee father and a Dutch-Irish mother. She became the first woman chief of the Cherokee Nation serving as the Principal Chief for ten years. Her great-grandfather had been one of the 16,000 American Indians and African slaves who, under orders from President Andrew Jackson, had walked the Trail of Tears in the 1830s relocating from their former homes in the Southeast to the newly designated "Indian Territory" in present-day Oklahoma. She sought a return of the traditional balance of power of the sexes in the then-male-dominated Cherokee Nation and initiated many community development projects, including establishing tribally owned businesses, constructing new schools, job-training centers, and health clinics, improving infrastructure, and building a hydroelectric facility. She was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 1993 and in 1998 received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

20. Transgender Day of Remembrance: United States

Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDoR), which occurs annually on November 20, is a day to memorialize those who have been killed as a result of anti-transgender violence, and acts to bring attention to the continued violence endured by the transgender community.

22. Thanksgiving Day: United States

A legal holiday in all territories of the United States, this is a day for giving thanks for the harvest and for the blessings the year has brought. In his first presidential proclamation on October 3, 1789, President George Washington declared Thursday, November 26, 1789 to be "a day of public thanksgiving and prayer." The first nationwide observance occurred in 1863 during the Civil War, when President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation designating the last Thursday of November as a day of national thanksgiving. Since 1863, Thanksgiving has been observed annually in the United States. In 1941 Congress made Thanksgiving Day a federal holiday to be observed on the fourth Thursday of November.

23. Guru Nanak Ji's Birthday: Sikh

This holiday celebrates the birth of Guru Nanak (1469-1539), the founder of Sikhism. Sikhism, which comes from the Hindi word sikh, meaning "disciple," is one of the three religions most widely practiced in India with approximately 16 million followers, mostly concentrated in the state of Punjab in northern India.

25. International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women: United Nations

This day is set aside to raise awareness of the issue of violence against women and to take action to end this violation of human rights. The date marks the assassination in 1960 of the three Mirabal sisters, who were political activists for human rights against dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo in the Dominican Republic. This day marks the start of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence that are commemorated around the world, ending on December 10, International Human Rights Day.

26. Sojourner Truth (1797-1883): African American

Born a slave, Isabella Baumfree fled her slave master in 1826 and became free in 1828 under the New York State Anti-Slavery Act. In 1843, Isabella experienced what she regarded as a command from God to preach. She changed her name to Sojourner Truth and became a traveling speaker and an eloquent advocate of the abolition of slavery and the granting of civil rights to women. She visited President Abraham Lincoln in the White House in 1864. After the Civil War, she settled in Washington, D.C., and worked to help impoverished former slaves. She died on this date.

The entries for this calendar have been adapted from the Electronic Diversity Calendar (TM). Used with permission.

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