History of Grandparents Day
We have Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and even Children’s Day, but did you know we also have Grandparents Day?
No? Well, if you’ve never heard of this exceptional holiday, you aren’t alone! Your next question is probably, “What is the history of Grandparents Day?”
If so, you are in luck because this article is going to share with you the importance of Grandparents Day and explain to you why it’s so important to celebrate grandparents this day and all year long.
What Is Grandparents Day?
Guess what? The Sunday after Labor Day is always designated Grandparents Day. If you aren’t sure of the importance of Grandparents Day, this is a good time to learn why grandparents are so special and why honoring them is so important.
As you have probably guessed, Grandparents Day was created to celebrate grandparents and the many roles they play in our lives. It is important to understand, however, that unlike commercialized holidays (i.e. Valentine’s Day, Christmas, and Easter) intent on selling candy, cards, flowers, and expensive gifts.
Grandparents Day is designed to honor the roots of our families – the beginning of our family trees – the origin of who we are – and the contributions they have made in our lives and the lives of others. The purpose of the day is (1) to honor grandparents, (2) to give grandparents an opportunity to reconnect with family members, and (3) to make children more aware of the guidance, advice, and wisdom older people have to offer.
What’s The Origin Of Grandparents Day?
If you want to understand the importance of Grandparents Day, you must learn its history first.
This holiday doesn’t garner much attention, but its origin can be traced back to 1973! Who created it? Well, Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade, a stay-at-home mom from West Virginia, decided that there should be a special day to honor the population that many forget about and ignore – grandparents. She petitioned to have a day, a national holiday, just for them.
Marian wanted this day recognized as a “family day” for everyone.
Her goal was to make sure that the country celebrated seniors at least once a year.
As a result, Marian spent many years promoting the invaluable contributions of seniors and grandparents until one day she caught the attention of President Jimmy Carter. Senator Jennings Randolph then brought a bill to the Senate floor that would recognize Grandparents Day, as a national holiday. Unfortunately, however, this bill did not pass.
But, although Marian was disappointed, she did not allow the bill’s failure to cripple her mission. She urged supporters to contact their state representatives, so Grandparents Day would get the recognition it deserved.
As a result, this tenacious woman was able to get Grandparents Day on a bill for 43 states.
And, in 1977, Senator Jennings Randolph introduced a bill asking the President to proclaim the first Sunday after Labor Day – National Grandparents Day.
Thus, Grandparents Day was officially recognized by President Carter on August 3, 1978. So, as a result of Marian McQuade’s hard work and indomitable spirit, grandparents finally received the recognition they deserved, and more people learned the importance of Grandparents Day.
The Importance Of Grandparent’s Day
So, why do we celebrate Grandparents’ Day?
Well, as you have learned, no one even suggested that grandparents be celebrated until 1973. And, to top it off, Grandparents Day was not officially recognized until 1978 – even though seniors make up the backbone of every family, regardless of ethnicity, culture, or race.
On the other hand, maybe it’s not so hard to imagine seniors getting left behind, especially with the way American culture celebrates our “youth” and ignores our elderly. With this attitude, is it unbelievable that our youth asks the question, “Why do we celebrate Grandparents Day?”
Well, we celebrate Grandparents Day because it is our grandparents, who connect the past to the present. They make up who we are – not just in biology, but also in our personalities, behaviors, and even beliefs.
Without our grandparents, we would not exist. It doesn’t matter if these wise beings are our grandparents or substitute grandparents, who fulfill important roles in our lives; this older generation holds the keys to our cultures, legacies, and traditions.
And, although the importance of Grandparents Day is often overlooked or dismissed, it is our grandparents, who offer the calmness and strength we need during our most turbulent times.
So, why do we celebrate Grandparents Day? Well, because grandparents bridge the gap between where we came from and where we are going.
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