1831 – Nat Turner, a former slave, led a rebellion against slavery in Virginia. He was later executed.


Nat Turner’s Revolt (1831) Nat Turner captured.jpg
Contributed by Patrick H. Breen

On the evening of August 21–22, 1831, an enslaved preacher and self-styled prophet named Nat Turner launched the most deadly slave revolt in the history of the United States. Over the course of a day in Southampton County, Turner and his allies killed fifty-five white men, women, and children as the rebels made their way toward Jerusalem, Virginia (now Courtland).Image result for 1831 - Nat Turner, a former slave, led a violent insurrection in Virginia. He was later executed.

Less than twenty-four hours after the revolt began, the rebels encountered organized resistance and were defeated in an encounter at James Parker’s farm. Following this setback, Turner and other rebels scrambled to reassemble their forces. The next day, a series of defeats led to the effective end of the revolt. Whites quickly and brutally reasserted their control over Southampton County, killing roughly three dozen blacks without trials. Within a few days of the revolt, white leaders in Southampton became increasingly confident that the revolt had been suppressed and worked to limit the extralegal killing of blacks. Instead, white leaders made sure that the remaining suspected slaves were tried, which also meant that the white slave owners would receive compensation from the state for condemned slaves, a benefit that the state did not extend to slave owners who owned suspected rebels killed without trials. This effort, which reached a climax with the declaration of martial law in Southampton a week after the revolt began, meant that Southampton court system would ultimately decide what to do with suspected slave rebels.See the source image

Trials began on August 31, 1831, and the majority of trials were completed within a month. By the time that the trials were finished the following spring, thirty slaves and one free black had been condemned to death. Of these, nineteen were executed in Southampton: Governor John Floyd, following the recommendations of the court in Southampton, commuted twelve sentences. Turner himself had eluded whites throughout September and into October when two slaves spotted him close to where the revolt began. Once detected, Turner was forced to move, but he was unable to elude the renewed manhunt. He was captured on October 30. While in jail awaiting trial, Turner spoke freely with whites about the revolt. Local lawyer Thomas R. Gray approached Turner with a plan to take down his confessions. The Confessions of Nat Turner was published within weeks of the Turner’s execution on November 11, 1831, and remains one of the most important sources for historians working on slavery in the United States. The revolt had important ramifications outside of Southampton, as several southern communities feared that slaves in their community were part of the revolt. In Richmond, Thomas Jefferson Randolph—the grandson of Thomas Jefferson—tried but failed to convince the General Assembly to enact a plan that would have put the state on the path to gradual emancipation. Abolitionists remembered the revolt as an important example of both slaves’ hate for the system of slavery and their bravery. The cultural legacy of the revolt is still vibrant; the revolt remains the clearest example of overt resistance in the United States to the system of slavery

Origins

Nat Turner’s Bible
While the oppressive system of slavery provides the essential backdrop for the revolt, Nat Turner described his motivation for the Southampton slave revolt in religious terms. Little is known about Turner beyond what Thomas R. Gray published in The Confessions of Nat Turner. According to The Confessions, Turner was born into slavery on a Southampton plantation on October 2, 1800. He could read and write, which was unusual for an enslaved person of that time and place, and he owned a Bible. He had a family, including a grandmother to whom he was “much attached”; a father who escaped slavery; and a wife and son, who lived on a neighboring farm. He was deeply religious, “devoting [his] time to fasting and prayer,” and experienced private revelations in which “the Spirit that spoke to the prophets in former days” spoke to him. When he was in his twenties, Turner ran away from his overseer. He was gone for a month, returning only, he said, at the spirit’s urging.

In the late 1820s, his religious visions—which up to this point appeared to be apolitical or even counterrevolutionary—became more overtly political. On May 12, 1828, the spirit appeared to Turner and told him that “the time was fast approaching when the first should be last and the last should be first.” It also told him that there would be a sign, a prediction that Turner believed was fulfilled on February 12, 1831, when Southampton experienced a total solar eclipse. While The Confessions describes Turner’s motivations in primarily religious terms, the historian David F. Allmendinger Jr. noted that the religious signs might not have been the only thing that led Turner to undertake the conspiracy. At this time, Turner lived on the farm of his master, Joseph Travis; his son lived on a neighboring farm belonging to Piety Reese. In February 1831, just days before Turner approached his future conspirators, Reese’s son John W. signed a note that put Turner’s son up as collateral for a debt that he, Reese, had struggled to pay.

Nat Turner & His
Confederates in Conference.
Inspired by a combination of religious, familial, and perhaps other unrecorded motives, Nat Turner shared his idea of revolting with four other slaves in whom he “had the greatest confidence”—Henry, Hark, Nelson, and Sam. None of the four betrayed the plot, and all joined a conspiracy that they understood would likely cost them their lives. These men never had the chance to explain why they cast their lots with Turner. Many whites at the time of the revolt dismissed Turner’s followers as pawns “who acted under the influence of their leader,” as the Richmond Whig and Commercial Journal put it, but it is unclear how many—if any—were disciples of Turner. (The only person who was named as a religious follower in The Confessions was a white man, Etheldred Brantley, whom Turner baptized.) While Turner described the revolt in religious terms, the new conspirators appear to have seen the revolt in more political terms. When the conspirators selected a date to begin the revolt, initially they picked the Fourth of July.
As the five conspirators tried to turn Turner’s inspiration into a plan, they thought about the revolt strategically. Nothing was more important to the conspirators than to make sure that their plan went undetected. Turner and his men understood that “the negroes had frequently attempted similar things,” but because they “confided their purpose to several,” the news of the conspiracy “always leaked out.” Based upon this insight, the rebels decided to keep the revolt small, deciding not even to stockpile weapons. Instead, the conspirators accepted Turner’s strategy to “slay my enemies with their own weapons.” While this made the rebels less dangerous at the beginning of the revolt, it also decreased the chance that the conspiracy would be detected before the revolt began.

The Confessions of Nat
Turner, the Leader of the Late
Insurrection in Southampton,
Va.
Keeping the revolt small meant that whites would not uncover the conspiracy, but keeping it small created a new hurdle for the rebels: they had to figure out how to get slaves and free blacks who had not heard about the revolt to join them. Turner recalled the conspirators thought hard about this problem—”Many were the plans formed and rejected by us,” he noted in The Confessions—but with little success. On July 4, 1831, the day the original conspirators initially agreed upon to begin the revolt, Turner “fell sick,” in part because he had little confidence that the rebels had a plan that would work.
Eventually, perhaps spurred on by a new sign from God—a solar event on August 13, 1831, where across the east coast the sun appeared silver and then green—the conspirators settled on a plan that they hoped would lead slaves and free blacks to rally to their banner: they would undertake a sudden strike and kill whites, including women and children, indiscriminately. Hearing about the rebels’ power and success, other slaves and free blacks would join. When one potential recruit objected that there were too few rebels to begin a slave revolt, one of the original conspirators assured him that as the rebels “went on and killed the whites[,] the blacks would join them.” This was just the first stage of the revolt. According to The Confessions, once they rebels had formed and equipped a “sufficient force,” the indiscriminate killings of whites would end, and the revolt would continue albeit using more conventional methods of war.
The plan was clearly a long shot, as the rebels understood, but given the odds against them, the five conspirators were willing to stake their lives on it. On Saturday evening, August 20, Turner, Henry, and Hark made plans for a feast the following day for the men who had joined the revolt. When they gathered the next day, the original five conspirators had added two. After a feast and a trip to Joseph Travis’s cider press, the conspirators were ready to begin the revolt.
The Revolt
The revolt began on Sunday night, August 21, 1831, at Joseph Travis’s farm. During the night, the rebels caught the whites completely by surprise, and sleeping whites were in no position to escape the small rebel force. At the same time, while the rebels were in their own neighborhood, they could recruit slaves that they knew to their cause. For example, at Travis’s home, the rebels recruited Austin, who despite living on the same small farm as Turner had not been included in the feast that the conspirators held during the day. At the same time, however, other slaves, even slaves with strong personal connections to the original conspirators, were hesitant to join the revolt. Hark’s brother-in-law Jack agreed to join only reluctantly. Others, including the free black Emory Evans, who lived on Salathial Francis’s farm, refused to join at all. Over the course of the night, the rebels attacked three households, killing eight whites, including a sleeping infant at Travis’s.
As dawn approached on the morning of August 22, the rebels—then numbering about a dozen—changed their method of attack. During the night, they moved stealthily and attacked in silence; during the day, they moved quickly and boldly. At Elizabeth Turner’s, Austen shot Hartwell Peebles, the first time that any rebel killed someone with a gun. During the morning, the rebels also separated into two squads: one on horseback, one traveling by foot. This allowed the one on horseback to launch more and faster strikes. These attacks were successful in terms of killing whites. At Catherine Whitehead’s plantation, for example, rebels killed all but one of the white residents—including Margaret Whitehead, the only person Nat Turner killed—but the rebels continued to struggle to win supporters among slaves. Among Whitehead’s twenty-seven slaves, the rebels found, at most, a single recruit, and several of Catherine Whitehead’s slaves foiled the rebels’ efforts to kill Harriet Whitehead. At Newit Harris’s even larger plantation, the rebels failed to gain a single recruit. By late morning, it was clear that the rebels would not inspire a mass movement, as they had hoped. Nevertheless, at about forty slaves, the rebel army was a dangerous force.
By midmorning the challenge of recruiting was compounded by a new problem for the rebels: news about the revolt had spread, making it harder for the rebels to find whites. Most whites who heard of the revolt immediately fled to the woods, eluding the rebel army. Others tried to create defensible positions. At Levi Waller’s farm, the site of a local school, word arrived of the insurrection, and Waller made the decision to gather the children together to defend them. This led to the most devastating raid of the revolt, as the rebels arrived after the children had congregated but before Waller could set up any defense. Waller’s wife and ten children died during that assault. By midday, when the rebels left Rebecca Vaughn’s house, they had encountered no more defenseless whites. Arthur Vaughn was the last person killed by the rebel forces.
By the afternoon of August 22, 1831, the dynamic of the revolt had shifted in an important way. Turner and his men remained on the offensive, heading to Jerusalem where they hoped to “procure arms and ammunition,” but they were being pursued by several groups of whites who had organized to suppress the revolt. At James Parker’s farm, a group of whites led by Alexander P. Peete, who had been pursuing the rebels along the road toward Jerusalem, dispersed a small group of rebels who had remained by the gate while the other rebels went to Parker’s slave quarters to recruit. This white force then engaged the main rebel force at Parker’s farm. Peete and his men were driven from the field. The rebels pursued the fleeing men, but the pursuit led the rebels into an ambush set by other whites who had heard the sounds of fighting. Turner’s men were dispersed, and the rebels were turned back from their approach toward Jerusalem.
Following the defeat at Parker’s farm, the rebels spent the afternoon trying to regroup. By evening, when they made their camp at Thomas Ridley’s plantation, Turner had about forty men in arms. But the rebels were on edge. When rebel sentries went out before dawn to investigate potential attack, they found nothing, but their return set off a commotion in the rebels’ camp. Awake and ill at ease, the rebels who had not fled made their way to Samuel Blunt’s plantation. They believed that the whites had abandoned the plantation, but Blunt and five other whites set up a defense and the rebels scattered. In the commotion following the encounter at Blunt’s, Nat Turner lost contact with the other rebels, who broke up into ever-smaller groups, pursued by more and more whites. Although some rebels remained at large for days—and Turner himself would not be captured for more than two months—the revolt was effectively over by midday on August 23, a day and a half after it first began.
Aftermath

News of the revolt created fear among whites, many of whom left their houses to gather together in central places. One reporter noted, “Jerusalem was never so crowded from its foundation.” As the families gathered, whites organized paramilitary units to put down the revolt and in many cases get revenge. In the days after the revolt, whites from Southampton and beyond killed about three dozen blacks without trial in Southampton County. At Catherine Whitehead’s, for example, a white unit from Greensville County was about to kill an enslaved man named Hubbard, when Harriet Whitehead stopped the execution by explaining to the whites that Hubbard had actually saved her life. Whites also tortured blacks, often by putting the suspected slave’s feet in a fire. One white recounted how one suspect nearly had his foot “burnt off” before his interrogators “found at last that he was innocent.” A newspaper editor admitted that the brutality was “hardly inferior in barbarity to the atrocities of the insurgents.”
The pattern of retribution and killing in the days after the revolt posed a serious threat to black community and to the county’s largest slaveholders. After the revolt, anyone could freely kill a slave and escape punishment if the killer claimed that he thought that the slave was a suspected rebel. To stop such indiscriminate killings, on August 28, 1831, General Richard Eppes, the leader of the state militia force in Southampton, issued an order calling for whites “to abstain in the future from any acts of violence to any personal property whatever”—in other words, enslaved men and women—”for any cause whatever.” Those who disobeyed this order would be subject to “the rigors of the articles of war.” The effort to stop extralegal killings was largely successful and meant that thereafter, most slaves who were suspected of supporting the rebels appeared in court.

Slaves Executed for the Nat
Turner Revolt
The trials of suspected slave rebels began on August 31, 1831. The trials were held in courts of oyer and terminer, which meant that slaves were tried without a jury before a panel of slaveholding judges. Accused slaves all had paid appointed defense attorneys, and the judges made an effort to make sure that the trials were not show trials. The court demanded properly drawn charges—it dismissed a case where the prosecutor had not properly drawn his charges—and required that the prosecutor present some credible evidence that the accused were guilty of a crime. In many of these cases, these formal hurdles posed no problem for the prosecutor, Meriwether Broadnax, who was able to secure thirty convictions against accused slaves. Every one of the convictions led to a death sentence, although in twelve of these cases, the court found some extenuating circumstance—such as youth, lack of substantive involvement in the revolt, or reluctance to join the conspirators—to recommend that Governor John Floyd commute the death sentence to sale from the state of Virginia. (The governor followed the recommendations of the court in every case the court provided a unanimous recommendation, although he was inclined, but unable, to commute the sentence of Lucy, the one woman convicted for a role in the revolt. In the one case where a split court recommended commutation, Floyd sided with the minority and allowed the execution to proceed.) The judges also examined five free blacks. Four were remanded until the next meeting of the Superior Court of Chancery, where three would be acquitted. One, Barry Newsom, was convicted and, on May 11, 1832, became the last of nineteen people executed in Southampton County for their role in the revolt.

Discovery of Nat
Turner
While the trials and executions were ongoing, Nat Turner himself remained at large. For nearly two months, he evaded whites, until a dog happened upon his hideout and found some meat. The dog returned a few nights later, accompanied by two blacks who were out hunting. When Turner revealed himself to them, he pleaded for them to keep his hiding place secret, but they ran away. Realizing that “they would betray me,” Turner fled from his initial hiding place. Whites, who had no clear idea where Turner was up to that point, renewed their manhunt near where the revolt began. Benjamin Phipps finally captured Turner on October 30, 1831. Turner was brought to Jerusalem the next day, where he was examined by James Trezvant and James W. Parker, two of the most prominent political figures in Southampton County. The examination lasted more than an hour and witnesses found Turner “quite communicative.” Turner’s willingness “to answer any questions” created an opportunity for Thomas R. Gray, a young ne’er-do-well attorney, who offered to publish Turner’s confession. Turner agreed. Gray met with Turner over a series of three days and took down Turner’s confessions. On November 5, 1831, Trezvant may have read a draft of The Confessions at Turner’s trial. Gray took the final version of The Confessions to Washington, D.C., to register it for copyright, something that was done even before Turner was executed on November 11, 1831. The Confessions was published by the end of November 1831.

William Preston
Outside of Southampton County, the revolt had important repercussions. Whites in nearby Virginia and North Carolina worried that the plot extended beyond Southampton. This led to both extralegal and legal retribution taken against blacks suspected to have been privy to the plot. Elsewhere in the South, most notably in and around Wilmington, North Carolina, fears of slave insurrections led to terrible panics and brutal reprisals against local blacks. Because the revolt reminded whites about the dangers of slavery, roughly 2,000 Virginians petitioned the state legislature to do something about slavery. A committee charged with considering the petitions reported that it was “inexpedient” for the General Assembly to pass any laws that would end slavery in Virginia. Delegate William Preston offered an amendment that replaced “inexpedient” with “expedient,” but the reformers lost this vote, marking the last time that the Virginia legislature would consider a movement away from slavery until the end of the American Civil War (1861–1865). Instead the legislature passed a series of restrictions aimed at further suppressing black religion and limiting the rights of free blacks.
Legacy

The Confessions of Nat
Turner
Nat Turner’s Revolt has been an important part of the cultural landscape in the United States. In the Cooper’s Union Address, Republican presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln reminded his New York audience of what he called the Southampton Insurrection, suggesting that slavery revolts were a threat before John Brown or the rise of the Republican Party. The abolitionist Thomas Wentworth Higginson wrote a history of the revolt that appeared in the Atlantic Monthly in the first months of the Civil War. In the twentieth century, the historian Herbert Aptheker wrote about the revolt and myriad other episodes of slave resistance as a way to combat the common perception that slaves were content in the antebellum South. Aptheker’s most important work, American Negro Slave Revolts (1943), was panned by many historians of his era, but this work on Southampton nonetheless prepared the ground for a revisionist understanding of slavery as an oppressive system that slaves actively resisted. In 1967, the novelist William Styron gave the revolt a broader audience when he wrote a best-selling novel based upon The Confessions published by Thomas R. Gray. The book won critical praise—including a Pulitzer Prize for fiction—but it also engendered strong protest from black activists who objected to the way that Styron, a white man, had portrayed the leader of the revolt. In 2016, Virginia native Nate Parker released the movie Birth of a Nation, which dramatized the story of the revolt.

http://www.EncyclopediaVirginia.org

on this day 11/11 Veteran’s Day


1620 – The Mayflower Compact was signed by the 41 men on the Mayflower when they landed in what is now Province town Harbor near Cape Cod. The compact called for “just and equal laws.”

1831 – Nat Turner, a slave and educated minister, was hanged in Jerusalem, VA, after inciting a violent slave uprising. 

1851 – The telescope was patented by Alvan Clark. 

1868 – The first indoor amateur track and field meet was held by the New York Athletic Club.

1880 – Australian outlaw and bank robber Ned Kelly was hanged at the Melbourne jail at age 25.

1887 – Labor Activists were hanged in Illinois after being convicted of being connected to a bombing that killed eight police officers.

1889 – Washington became the 42nd state of the United States.

1918 – World War I came to an end when the Allies and Germany signed an armistice. This day became recognized as Veteran’s Day in the United States.

1918 – Poland was reestablished shortly after the surrender of Germany.

1920 – The body of an unknown British soldier was buried in Westminster Abbey. The service was recorded with the first electronic recording process developed by Lionel Guest and H.O. Merriman.

1921 – The Tomb of the Unknowns was dedicated at Arlington Cemetery in Virginia by U.S. President Harding

1938 – Kate Smith first sang Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” on network radio.

1940 – The Jeep made its debut.

1942 – During World War II, Germany completed its occupation of France.

1946 – The New York Knickerbockers (now the Knicks) played their first game at Madison Square Garden.

1952 – The first video recorder was demonstrated by John Mullin and Wayne Johnson in Beverly Hills, CA.

1965 – The government of Rhodesia declared its independence from Britain. The country later became known as Zimbabwe.

1965 – Walt Disney announced a project in Florida.
Disney movies, music and books

1966 – The U.S. launched Gemini 12 from Cape Kennedy, FL. The craft circled the Earth 59 times before returning. 

1972 – The U.S. Army turned over its base at Long Bihn to the South Vietnamese army. The event symbolized the end of direct involvement in the Vietnam War by the U.S. military.

1975 – Civil war broke out when Angola gained independence from Portugal. 

1981 – Stuntman Dan Goodwin scaled the outside of the 100-story John Hancock Center in Chicago in about six hours.

1981 – The U.S.S. Ohio was commissioned at the Electric Boat Division in Groton, CT. It was the first Trident class submarine.

1984 – The Reverend Martin Luther King Sr. died in Atlanta at age 84. 

1984 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan accepted the Vietnam Veterans Memorial as a gift to the nation from the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund

1986 – Sperry Rand and Burroughs merged to form “Unisys,” becoming the second largest computer company.

1987 – Vincent Van Gogh’s “Irises” was sold for a then record 53.9 million dollars in New York.

1988 – Police in Sacramento, CA, found the first of seven bodies buried on the grounds of a boardinghouse. Dorothea Puente was later charged in the deaths of nine people, convicted of three murders and sentenced to life in prison.

1990 – Stormie Jones, the world’s first heart-liver transplant recipient, died at a Pittsburgh hospital at age 13.

1991 – The U.S. stationed its first diplomat in Cambodia in 16 years to help the nation arrange democratic elections.

1992 – Russian President Boris Yeltsin told U.S. senators in a letter that Americans had been held in prison camps after World War II. Some were “summarily executed,” but others were still living in his country voluntarily.

1992 – The Church of England voted to ordain women as priests.

1993 – Walt Disney Co. announced plans to build a U.S. history theme park in a Virginia suburb of Washington. The plan was halted later due to local opposition.
Disney movies, music and books

1993 – In Washington, DC, the Vietnam Women’s Memorial was dedicated to honor the more than 11,000 women who had served in the Vietnam War.

1994 – In Gaza, a suicide bomber detonated his explosives at an Israeli military checkpoint killing three soldiers.

1996 – The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund unveiled “The Wall That Heals.” The work was a half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial that would tour communities throughout the United States.

1997 – The Eastman Kodak Company announced that they were laying off 10,000 employees.

1997 – Roger Clemens (Toronto Blue Jays) became the third major league player to win the Cy Young Award four times.

1998 – Jay Cochrane set a record for the longest blindfolded skywalk. He walked on a tightrope between the towers of the Flamingo Hilton in Las Vegas, NV. The towers are 600 feet apart.

1998 – Vincente Fernandez received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1998 – Israel’s Cabinet ratified a land-for-peace agreement with the Palestinians.

2002 – Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates pledged $100 million to fight AIDS in India.

48 Veterans Day Free Meals 2020 … make plans


illustration of free veteran's day meals
Written by Stacy Fisher
Updated 11/05/20
  • Bob EvansBob Evans logoVeterans and active military personnel can stop into any Bob Evans location any time on Wednesday, November 11, to receive a free meal.The Veterans Day free meal choices include Hand-Breaded Crispy Fried Chicken, Country Biscuit Breakfast, Brioche French Toast, the Mini Sampler, Stack of Hotcakes, Country Fried Steak, or Soup & Salad Combo. This is for dine-in only, and beverages and gratuity aren’t included.You’ll need to bring proof of military service to get your Veterans Day free meal. This can include a U.S. Uniformed Services (current or retired) Identification Card, a current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), DD214, a Veterans’ organization card (American Legion or VFW, for example), or citation/commendation. Guests wearing a military uniform on Veterans Day also are eligible.
  • Famous Dave’sFamous Dave's logoThe Veterans Day free meal at Famous Dave’s is a Georgia chopped pork sandwich plus one side. This offer is valid all day on Wednesday, November 11, at participating Famous Dave’s locations. Valid for dine-in, to go, or online ordering only on 11/11/20. Only one meal (valued up to $7.49) per Veteran or active military person with valid identification.
  • White CastleWhite Castle logoWhite Castle is giving out a free Combo Meal (#1-#6) or a free Breakfast Combo Meal to any veteran or other military members who come in on Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11th.A military ID is required to get the complimentary meal. Be sure to contact your local White Castle restaurant ahead of time to confirm that they’re participating.
  • Little CaesarsLittle Caesars logoVeterans and active military members can visit Little Caesars on Wednesday, November 11th, from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM for a free $5 Lunch Combo.This Veterans Day free meal includes four slices of Little Caesars Detroit-style DEEP!DEEP!™ Dish pizza, plus a 20 oz Pepsi product.You don’t need a coupon to redeem this free meal for Veterans Day. Just mention this offer and present proof of service, which can include an ID card with a veteran designation, a DD-214 form, or a current military-issued ID card.
  • Dunkin’ DonutsDunkin' Donuts logoTo show their support, Dunkin’ Donuts is giving away free donuts to active duty military and veterans on Wednesday, November 11, 2020.This free Veterans Day donut is limited to one per customer while supplies last and is for dine-in only, but no purchase or military ID is required.It’s possible that not every Dunkin’ Donuts location is participating, so be sure to call ahead to double-check.Continue to 13 of 50 below.https://dbb8316078d015682ff110c23664ca6e.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html
  • Buffalo Wild WingsBuffalo Wild Wings logoBuffalo Wild Wings is having their annual Veterans Day free food deal on Veterans Day, which is Wednesday, November 11. All day, veterans and active duty military get a free order of boneless wings and a side of fries.This offer is valid at participating Buffalo Wild Wings locations and is for dine-in or takeout.Proof of military service is required, which can include a permanent or temporary military ID card, DD214, or veteran’s card. You may also come wearing your military uniform or bring a photo of you wearing it.
  • Cracker BarrelCracker Barrel logoOn Veterans Day, Wednesday the 11th, Cracker Barrel is giving veterans the choice between a free Double Chocolate Fudge Coca-Cola Cake dessert, a slice of Fruit Cobbler, or their All-American Apple Pie.All locations are participating in this Veterans Day free food offer this year
  • Pie Five PizzaPie Five PIzza logoAny veteran or active military member, and current or past member of the Armed Forces or Department of Defense, can visit a participating Pie Five Pizza location on November 11 for a free personal pizza.This Veterans Day free meal is valid in stores only and requires military ID or some other proof of service.
  • Freddy’s Frozen Custard & SteakburgersFreddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers logoVisit a Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers near you this Veterans Day, November 11, to get a free combo meal card. You must be a veteran or active duty military to pick up the card, but it can be redeemed by anyone through November 30, 2020.
  • .
  • Menchie’sMenchie's logoThis is the eighth Veterans Day that Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt has given out a freebie for Veterans Day. Veterans and active-duty military can get the first 6 oz. of frozen yogurt for free.This offer is valid all day long at participating Menchie’s locations, and you need to show military ID to receive this Veterans Day freebie. 
  • Bar LouieBar Louie logoBar Louie is giving away free Veterans Day food on Wednesday, November 11, to veterans and active duty military members.This free burger or free flatbread offer is valid at participating Bar Louie locations. Visit that link to find your local restaurant and see if they’ll be offering this deal this year. You’ll need to show proof of military service to get your free Veterans Day meal. The meal is for dine-in only and is valid for up to a $15 value.
  • Max & Erma’sMax & Erma's logoMax & Erma’s will be honoring veterans and active military personnel by giving out a free Best Cheeseburger in America with endless seasoned fries, a fresh-baked chocolate chip cookie, and a fountain drink on Veterans Day.This Veterans Day free meal offer is valid only at participating Max & Erma’s, so be sure to contact your local restaurant before heading out or check this list. Proof of military service is necessary.

  • Tap House GrillTap House Grill logoAnother place veterans, active, and inactive military personnel can receive a complimentary meal on Veterans Day is Tap House Grill.This free meal offer is for dine-in only on November 11, 2020, and includes all Tap House Grill locations.
  • Country KitchenCountry Kitchen logoActive duty military and veterans can stop by a participating Country Kitchen location any time on Wednesday, November 11, to get a free Country Scramble, which includes two pancakes with scrambled eggs mixed with ham and cheese.Valid proof of service is necessary. This Veterans Day free meal offer is for dine-in only and cannot be combined with other discounts or offers.
  • Hy-VeeHy-Vee logoVeterans and active duty military, plus their families, can stop into a Hy-Vee store on November 11 to receive a fresh breakfast brought to your vehicle via curbside pick-up between 6 AM and 10 AM.Dine-in meals might also be available but with capacity limitations, and all stores are said to be participating. However, you might still check with a Hy-Vee near you to confirm.Veterans and active military members can also get 10% off their in-store grocery purchases on Veterans Day.
  • Shoney’sShoney's logoParticipating Shoney’s will be having a Veterans Day free all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet in 2020 for veterans as well as active duty military.Proof of military service might be required, it’s for dine-in only from open until 11 AM on the 11th, and beverages, tax, and gratuity aren’t included in the free offer. Find a Shoney’s near you.Although this free Veterans Day offer isn’t compatible with other offers and discounts, Shoney’s also gives out a 15% discount all year long to the Armed Forces, Police, Fire Department, EMT Units, and anyone else with proof of service.

  • LaMar’s DonutsLaMar's Donuts logo​Veterans and active military personnel can visit a participating LaMar’s Donuts and Coffee location to get a free donut and 12 oz. coffee on Wednesday, November 11.No coupon or purchase is necessary, but the offer doesn’t apply to specialty donuts. Just bring military ID or wear your uniform to redeem this free Veterans Day offer.
  • TooJay’sTooJay's logoVets and active military members get free food at TooJay’s when they choose from a special Veterans Day menu on November 11.This year’s menu includes the following: Shepherd’s Pie, Open Faced Turkey Sandwich, Chopped Sirloin, Fish and Chips Lunch, Black Bean Burger, Choose Too Half Sandwich and Soup, Create Your Own Omelette, Grilled Cheese with Tomato and Bacon, Chicken Caesar Salad, Patty Melt, Deli Dogs, Chicken Tenders, and Liver and Onions.You can redeem this offer at TooJay’s when you present your military ID or other proof of service and show this coupon. No other offers can be used at the same time and it isn’t valid for online orders (only dine-in and takeout).Call ahead to your local TooJay’s to make sure they’re participating.
  • Glory Days GrillGlory Days Grill logoWith proper ID, veterans can enjoy a free appetizer or an order of boneless or grilled boneless wings at Glory Days Grill on Wednesday, November 11.This Veterans Day free meal is available at Glory Days Grill restaurants in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and West Virginia. Any valid form of military ID is acceptable.
  • Green MillGreen Mill Restaurant and Bar logoThis Veterans Day free offer from Green Mill is for veterans who show proof of service.Eligible customers can pick any one item from their menu (pizza is limited to a small 1-topping deep dish, and Wing Samplers are excluded). This offer is for dine-in only. Contact your local Green Mill Restaurant & Bar to see if they’re participating.Green Mill also gives out a 10% discount to veterans and active-duty military all year long.
  • Friendly’sFriendly's logoFriendly’s is giving veterans and active military a free Veterans Day lunch or dinner (dine-in only) on Wednesday, November 11.Eligible customers will receive a free All-American Burger (with or without cheese) served with fries and a drink.You’ll need to present your military ID or honorable discharge card to get this Veterans Day freebie at a Friendly’s near you. It’s possible that not all locations are participating, so you might call ahead of time to confirm.
  • Country CookinCountry Cookin logoCountry Cookin will be offering a free salad bar on Veterans Day to all active, reserve, retired, and honorably discharged veterans. The free meal deal is available only on Wednesday, November 11.If eligible guests would rather have something else off the menu, they can take advantage of a $5 off coupon for any meal on Veterans Day.Be sure to bring along your military ID to your local Country Cookin to take advantage of this Veterans Day free meal. This offer is for dine-in only.
  • Twin PeaksTwin Peaks logoActive and retired military members can visit Twin Peaks on Wednesday, November 11, for a complimentary Veterans Day meal. Options include chicken tenders, Carolina pulled pork sandwich, cheeseburger, and the wedge.  Contact your local Twin Peaks location before heading out to make sure they’re participating.
  • Ben’s Soft PretzelsBen's Soft Pretzels logoThis Amish-inspired soft pretzel bakery is offering veterans a free Jumbo Soft Pretzel on Wednesday the 11th.You should call ahead of time to see if your local Ben’s Soft Pretzels is participating in this Veterans Day offer. Proof of military service might be required.
  • Logan’s RoadhouseLogan's Roadhouse logoLogan’s Roadhouse serves veterans and military personnel a free entree from a special menu this Veterans Day in honor of their service. The free meal offer is valid from 3 PM to 6 PM. Proof of military service is required. Find a Logan’s Roadhouse near you to take advantage of this free meal, but call ahead before you arrive to ensure that they’re participating.
  • Coffee BeaneryCoffee Beanery logoParticipating Coffee Beanery locations will be giving veterans and active duty military a free tall cup of coffee all day long on Wednesday, November 11. Military ID is required to get the free coffee.
  • 54th Street Grill54th Street Grill logo54th Street Grill will be having a free meal up to a $12 value for veterans and active military on Veterans Day. This is for dine-in only and is valid on November 11 only. Proof of military service is appreciated and can be shown via military ID or by visiting in uniform or showing a photo in uniform. Find out where a 54th Street Grill is near you.
  • Juice It Up!Juice It Up logo Free 20 oz classic smoothies at Juice It Up! are up for grabs for veterans and active military on Wednesday, November 11. Find a Juice It Up! near you for the menu and to confirm if they’re participating in this Veterans Day free food offer. It’s for in-store only and can’t be combined with other offers. Military ID or another proof of service, like wearing your uniform, is necessary.
  • CattlemensCattlemens steakhouse logoCattlemens restaurants is giving out an 8 oz sirloin steak dinner to all active, inactive, and retired military personal. This Veterans Day free meal is only valid on November 11; doors open at 4 PM. Be sure to bring along your military ID in case you’ll need it. You can call your local Cattlemen to confirm whether they’re participating and if you need to bring proof of service.
  • Crooked Pint Ale HouseCrooked Pint Ale House logoAnother way veterans can get a free meal on Veterans Day in 2020 is from Crooked Pint Ale House. We recommend contacting a Crooked Pint Ale House location near you to confirm that they’re participating there before you head out. A 10% discount is also available all year long.
  • WienerschnitzelWienerschnitzel logoWienerschnitzel sells millions of hot dogs every year, and for Veterans Day this November 11, eligible customers can have a chili dog and small fries free, plus a small Pepsi. There are hundreds of locations, but not all of them may be participating, so be sure to contact your local Wienerschnitzel to double-check. This Veterans Day free food is for both active military members as well as veterans who can provide military ID or who show up in their military uniform.
  • Mission BBQMission BBQ logoOn Veterans Day, November 11, Mission BBQ locations will be giving away free sandwiches to veterans. Military ID is not required to get this Veterans Day free food offer.
  • Farmer BoysFarmer Boys logoIf you’re a veteran, stop by Farmer Boys with your valid ID on Veterans Day, Wednesday the 11th, for a free Big Cheese cheeseburger.Check with your local Farmer Boys to see if they’re having this deal or visit the link above for the list of participating restaurants. The deal is valid in the drive-thru, carryout, and via phone orders for all participating locations.
  • City BarbequeCity Barbeque logoAll military members and veterans can visit City Barbeque on Wednesday, November 11, for Veterans Day to get a free sandwich platter. This Veterans Day free food offer includes not only a free sandwich but also two sides and a regular drink.Any eligible customer who’d prefer to wait to receive their complimentary meal can get a free meal voucher that’s redeemable through mid–2021. Vouchers are available for pickup on Veterans Day only. Every City Barbeque location is participating.
  • Chicken Salad ChickChicken Salad Chick logoOn November 11, 2020, all Chicken Salad Chick locations are giving out a free Chick Special and regular size drink in honor of Veterans Day.Veterans and active-duty military can take advantage of this Veterans Day free meal. Proof of service might be required, which can usually be a VA card, DD214 card, or military ID.
  • NekterNekter Juice Bar logoIf you’re a veteran or active military member, you can stop in to Nekter’s on Veterans Day, November 11, for a free 16oz smoothie or juice.You can take advantage of this free Veterans Day offer at your local Nekter location, but it’s possible that not all of them are participating, so you might call ahead of time to double-check.Bring proof of military service with you in case you need it.
  • Grubgrub burger logoAny active, former, or retired military member can get a complimentary entree at any Grub location on Wednesday, November 11, for Veterans Day.You must be able to show your military ID or come wearing your uniform before you can take part in this Veterans Day free meal offer from Grub.Grub also provides a year-round 10% discount for veterans who present a valid military I.D. or wear their uniform at the time of purchase.
  • Bandana’s Bar-B-QBandana's Bar-B-Q logoOn Wednesday, November 11, veterans and active military eat free at Bandana’s Bar-B-Q.This free Veterans Day food offer is a Budget Buster meal, which is 3 oz of their signature BBQ served with one piece of garlic bread and your choice of two sides. Choose from ribs, pork, chicken, brisket, turkey, or sausage.Proof of service is necessary, so be sure to bring your military ID or some other proof with you when you visit your local Bandana’s Bar-B-Q.
  • Cotton Patch CafeCotton Patch Cafe logoCotton Patch Cafe is giving out free Veterans Day meals to veterans and active military on November 11, 2020.You can get a free Chicken Fried Steak or Chicken Fried Chicken as long as you bring along a form of military ID to your local Cotton Patch Cafe on Veterans Day.
  • Pilot Flying JPilot Flying J logoIn honor of Veterans Day, a free breakfast combo is available for all US military veterans who visit a Pilot Flying J location from November 9 through November 15.This Veterans Day free food offer includes a free Pilot coffee of any size and one free breakfast offering, such as the french toast sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich.You need the Pilot Flying J app to redeem this offer.
  • Smoothie KingSmoothie King logoOn Veterans Day this year, all members of the military—including veterans, retired, and active military—can get a free, 20 oz smoothie of their choosing at any participating Smoothie King location.You must bring valid military ID or another proof of service in order to redeem the offer. It’s good only in stores.
  • Free Meals That Require a Food PurchaseReal Army Family OutdoorDanielBendjy / Getty ImagesThese Veterans Day free meals or free food require a purchase:
    • Laundry’s Inc. – All locations (excluding Golden Nugget restaurants) are giving veterans 20% of their bill on November 11. Party can’t exceed four and valid ID is required.
    • McCormick & Schmick’s – Veterans with valid ID get 50% off an entree on Sunday, November 8, 2020.
    • Dickey’s Barbecue Pit – Military service members get a free Classic Sandwich & Side on November 11 with a $10 minimum purchase. Valid in-stores and online with code VETFREE.
    • Houlihan’s Restaurant & Bar – Veterans, active duty military, and military families get $10 off a $30 food purchase on Veterans Day, Wednesday the 11th. Participating restaurants include Chicago, Columbus, Cleveland, Dallas, Kansas City, Long Island, New Jersey, and Pittsburgh.
    • Margaritas Mexican Restaurant – From November 10 through November 15, veterans and active-duty military who dine-in with valid military ID get 50% off an entrée.
    • CentraArchy Restaurants – Veterans and active military get 50% off of any meal from the menu on Veterans Day this year. Valid ID is required and only some locations are participating.
  • Location-Specific Free MealsA family greeting veterans. Ariel Skelley / Getty ImagesBelow are even more Veterans Day free meals, but they’re valid at only one or two locations.
    • Tuscan Kitchen Salem – On November 11, Tuscan Kitchen Salem will offer to-go meals for Salem NH veterans. They are 2-person cold meals prepared in microwave-safe containers that can be enjoyed at home.
    • The Rustic – On November 11, The Rustic locations in Texas are giving away free Rustic Burgers to veterans and active military who show valid military ID.
    • Bombshells Restaurant & Bar – All 10 locations in Texas will provide free meals and drinks for veterans and active service members on Wednesday, November 11. Accompanying family members will receive a 20% discount. Valid military ID is requested.

Please Plan Call to make sure the offers described are accurate as this is not my post … but a great post by

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