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Navajo Code Talkers Day

August 14
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 14 of August, repeating until August 14, 2030

National Navajo Code Talkers Day is August 14. This holiday honors the contributions of Native Americans / First Nations people who contributed to the United States war effort during World War Two, as well as recognizing the evolution of U.S. code related to Native American languages and the participation of First Nations tribe members in U.S. military efforts from many conflicts.

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The story of the Navajo code talkers is complex. Some object to the name of the holiday, mistakenly believing that Navajo tribe members are singled out for the distinction at the expense of other tribes that participated in this war effort.

But the name of the holiday refers not to the Navajo tribe itself, but is a broader term that refers to the “Navajo code” used to fool Axis powers including the Nazis and Japanese Imperial forces. Learn more about that process below.

President Ronald Reagan established Navajo Code Talkers Day in 1982, and the holiday honors all the tribes associated with the war effort including (but not limited to):

  • Cherokee

  • Choctaw

  • Comanche

  • Hopi

  • Navajo

The Navajo code depended on the complexity of the Navajo language as well as further encoding the messages (depending on when and where they were sent). These combined factors rendered it impossible to break as a code, and some sources report it is one of the few, possibly the only “code” used by the U.S. military, that was never broken during the conflicts it was used in.