Grandparents Day takes place on the Sunday after Labor Day. It is a national observance, but it is not a federal holiday. Most businesses follow Sunday working hours.
Grandparents Day came about because of the trailblazing work of two people:
In 1961, Jacob Reingold of the Hebrew Home of Riverdale attended a conference on aging in the White House. Driven by what he heard, he sought to do something to honor grandparents: a special day. This was first celebrated in the Hebrew Home in September 1961. By 1963, it had become an official holiday in the Bronx. The Congressional Record declared his contributions and endeavors on January 27, 1987.
Marian McQuade's concern about the number of lonely and isolated grandparents in homes motivated her to start a campaign in 1970 for a special day for them. She wanted their families and others in the community to benefit from their care and wisdom. She gained the support of local leaders. In 1973, Governor Arch Moore declared Grandparents Day a statewide holiday. With determination, the campaign reached Congress, and in 1978 a bill was passed. On September 6, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a proclamation declaring the first Sunday after Labor Day Grandparents Day.
President Carter's proclamation explained why this day is so important:
“As we seek to strengthen the enduring values of the family, it is appropriate that we honor our grandparents.
Grandparents are our continuing tie to the past, to the events and beliefs and experiences that so strongly affect our lives and the world around us. Whether they are our own or surrogate grandparents who fill some of the gaps in our mobile society, our senior generation also provides our society with a link to our national heritage and traditions. "
Ideas for Celebrating
Grandparents Day is not only about spending time with family but allows others to learn from their history, wisdom, and guidance. Schools, nursing homes, etc. arrange events. Families can make personalized gifts and cards to show how much they cherish their grandparents.
Grandparents Day Facts
Every year, a proclamation is made by the President to declare the Sunday after Labor Day the next National Grandparents Day.