Grandparents Day celebrates their importance in famly life.
National Grandparents Day
Many families in the United States observe National Grandparents Day on the first Sunday of September after Labor Day. This day honors grandparents.
National Grandparents' Day is a secular holiday celebrated in the United States since 1978 and officially recognized in a number of countries on various days of the year, either as one holiday or sometimes as a separate Grandmothers' Day and Grandfathers' Day (for the first time Grandma's Day was celebrated in Poland in 1965.
What do people do?
Many people honor their grandparents through a range of activities such as gift-giving, card-giving, and for children to invite their grandparents to school for a day where they participate in special lessons or special assembly programs. Many school students take part in story-telling activities that relate to their grandparents, as well as art or poster competitions where children often use a story about their grandparents in their artwork.
About four million greeting cards are sent within the United States each year on National Grandparents Day. This day is also an opportunity for people to appreciate and express their love to their grandparents through kind actions such as making a phone call or inviting their grandparents for dinner. People living in retirement villages or nursing homes may receive a visit from their grandchildren or loved ones on this day.
National Grandparents Day is an observance and not a public holiday in the United States.
National Grandparents Day has more than one origin. Some people consider it to have been first proposed by Michael Goldgar in the 1970s after he visited his aunt in an Atlanta nursing home, Spending $11,000 of his own money in lobbying efforts to have the day officially recognized, he made 17 trips to Washington DC over a seven-year span to meet with legislators.
Others consider Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade, a housewife in West Virginia, to have been the main driver for the day of observance. Throughout the 1970s McQuade worked hard to educate the people about the important contributions senior citizens made and the contributions that they would be willing to make if asked. She also urged people to adopt a grandparent, not for one day a year and not for material giving, but for a lifetime of experience.
In any event National Grandparents Day was finally signed into law by President Jimmy Carter in 1978. Marian McQuade received a phone call from the White House to advise her of this event. Many people believe that National Grandparents Day was inspired by her efforts. A presidential proclamation on September 6, 1979, made this day official – it designated Sunday, September 9, 1979, (being the “first Sunday of September following Labor Day”) as National Grandparents Day.
Each year the President is requested to issue a proclamation to: designate the first Sunday in September after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day; and to call on people, groups and organizations to observe the day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
Marian McQuade of Oak Hill, West Virginia, has been recognized nationally by the United States Senate – in particular by Senators Jennings Randolph; and Robert Byrd – and by President Jimmy Carter, as the founder of National Grandparents Day. McQuade made it her goal to educate the youth in the community[clarification needed] about the important contributions seniors have made throughout history. She also urged the youth to "adopt" a grandparent, not just for one day a year, but rather for a lifetime.
In 1973, Senator Jennings Randolph (D-WV) introduced a resolution to the senate to make Grandparents' Day a national holiday. West Virginia's Governor Arch Moore had proclaimed an annual Grandparents' Day for the state, at the urging of Marian McQuade. When Senator Randolph's resolution in the U.S. Senate died in committee, Marian McQuade organized supporters and began contacting governors, senators, and congressmen in all fifty states. She urged each state to proclaim their own Grandparents' Day. Within three years, she had received Grandparents' Day proclamations from forty-three states. She sent copies of the proclamations to Senator Randolph.
In February 1977, Senator Randolph, with the concurrence of many other senators, introduced a joint resolution to the senate requesting the president to "issue annually a proclamation designating the first Sunday of September after Labor Day of each year as 'National Grandparents' Day'." Congress passed the legislation proclaiming the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents' Day and, on August 3, 1978, then-President Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation. The statute cites the day's purpose: "...to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children, and to help children become aware of strength, information, and guidance older people can offer".
The official song of National Grandparents Day is “A Song for Grandma And Grandpa” by Johnny Prill. The official flower for the day is the “forget-me-not” flower.
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