Monday, February 8, 2010
Q: What is the origin of the 21-gun salute?
A: The use of gun salutes for military occasions is traced to early warriors who demonstrated their peaceful intentions by placing their weapons in a position that rendered them ineffective. In 1842, the Presidential salute was formally established at 21 guns. In 1890, regulations designated the "national salute" as 21 guns and re-designated the traditional Independence Day salute, the "Salute to the Union," equal to the number of states(50).
Information gathered from Army: the U.S. Army from 1775 to the 21st century by Chester G. Hearn.
Submitted by Kasia Piasecka, Reference Assistant
For more relevant information, check out the U.S. Army Center of Military History's website.