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Arizona declares state holiday to honor Native code talkers

Navajo Code Talker Memorial
Posted at 1:15 PM, Mar 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-29 16:15:34-04

PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona bill creates a new state holiday to honor Native Americans who used their language to transmit coded messages during World War II.

Aug. 14 is celebrated across the country and on the Navajo Nation as Navajo Code Talkers Day. While hundreds of Navajos were recruited as code talkers, about a dozen Hopis and members of other tribes also covertly sent messages that helped the U.S. win the war.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed a bill Monday that makes Aug. 14 a state holiday. It marks the day Japan announced it would surrender to the Allied forces. The holiday will be observed on a Sunday when state offices already are closed.