National Grandparents Day

Americans celebrate National Grandparents Day on the first Sunday of September after Labor Day. It serves to commemorate grandparents and grandparent figures. The most common tradition is for children to bring their grandparents to school for a special Grandparents Day program in their honor.

Grandchildren may also give cards and gifts or take their grandparents out to eat or another activity—National Grandparents Day sees four million cards sent. Many grandchildren also enjoy hearing stories of their family legacy from their grandparents on this day, making trips to nursing homes or other care centers for visits.

The official song of Grandparents Day, established in 2004, is “A Song for Grandma and Grandpa” by Johnny Prill. The official flower is the forget-me-not, which many grandchildren give their grandparents on this day. Very similar versions of Grandparents Day are celebrated all over the world, with some days celebrated with a separate Grandmothers Day and Grandfathers Day.

History

There are different sources that may have founded Grandparents Day. Marian McQuade is known for working to get a bill proposed by Senator Jennings Randolph, signed, as it had not made it out of the committee stage. Marian contacted senators, congressman, and other politicians to organize support for the bill. Forty-three states proclaimed a Grandparents Day holiday within the next three years. Congress passed the law making National Grandparents Day into a national holiday to be celebrated the first Sunday after Labor Day in 1977, which President Jimmy Carter signed into law. McQuade wanted the holiday established in order to help promote the contributions of the elderly to the youth and encouraged them to “adopt” grandparents.

At the same time, Michael Goldgar was also campaigning for a Grandparents Day. Goldgar spent $11,000, seventeen trips to the capitol, and seven years lobbying for the day, inspired by his aunt, who lived in a nursing home.

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