National Grandparents Day

National Grandparents Day
National Grandparents Day
Observed by various countries
Type National
Date First Sunday after Labor Day ( USA)
2010 date September 12
2011 date September 11
2012 date September 9

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 (see below for dates by country).



Marian McQuade of Oak Hill, West Virginia, has been recognized nationally by the United States Senate – in particular by Senators Jennings Randolph;[1] 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.[citation needed]

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.[2] The statute cites the day's purpose as: " 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".

Some people claim[weasel words] the origin of the holiday resides with the efforts[clarification needed] of Hermine Beckett Hanna of North Syracuse, New York, recognizing seniors and their importance as early as 1961. On February 21, 1990, New York Congressman James T. Walsh recognized the efforts[clarification needed] of Hermine Beckett Hanna in front of the U.S. House of Representatives, thanking her "for her important role in the establishment of Grandparents Day".[3]

Official song of U.S. Grandparents Day

In 2004, the National Grandparents Day Council of Chula Vista, CA announced that A Song for Grandma and Grandpa by Johnny Prill would be the official song of the U.S. National Grandparents Day holiday.[4]

Johnny Prill

The National Grandparents Day Council presented Prill with the National Songwriter's Award in recognition of his highly popular composition "A Song for Grandma and Grandpa."[5]

The Council announced Prill's award early in order that schools, churches and other groups who wish to perform his song for Grandparents Day will have time to acquire and rehearse the song.[6] The song was chosen because "Grandparents Day gives grandchildren across the nation the opportunity to show love and appreciation for their grandparents. Johnny Prill's A Song for Grandma and Grandpa is exemplary of such appreciation."[7]

Former President Jimmy Carter, who signed a proclamation in 1978 making Grandparents Day a national holiday, sent Prill an autographed photo stating, “Best wishes to Johnny.”[8]

United States Senator Debbie Stabenow told Prill: "It is wonderful that 'A Song for Grandma and Grandpa' was chosen as the official song of National Grandparents Day. What a special tribute to your talent as a songwriter. You have put into words the unique relationship between grandparents and their grandchildren." [9]

American folk singer Pete Seeger stated, "Here's to Johnny Prill and his song for National Grandparents Day. May his song spread around the world and be translated into many languages!"[10]

Official flower of U.S. Grandparents Day

The official flower of the U.S. National Grandparents Day is the forget-me-not which blooms in the spring. As a result, seasonal flowers are given in appreciation to grandparents on this day.[citation needed]

Grandparents Day[s] around the world


Queensland was the first Australian state to officially celebrate Grandparents' Day - on the first Sunday in November, 2010.[11] A range of community events took place in schools and at sporting events around the state.[12]


National Grandparents Day began in Canada in 1995. Motion Number 273 submitted in the House of Commons by Mr. Sarkis Assadourian read:

That, in the opinion of this House, the government should consider designating the second Sunday in September of each year as grandparents day in order to acknowledge their importance to the structure of the family in the nurturing, upbringing and education of children.[13]


Grandparents Day (vanavanemate päev) is celebrated, beginning in 2010, on the second Sunday in September.[citation needed] .


In France, Grandmothers Day[clarification needed] began in 1987 and is celebrated on the first Sunday in March.[citation needed]


In Italy, Grandparents Day[clarification needed] was established in 2005 and is celebrated on October 2,[citation needed] Guardian Angels' Day in Roman Catholic Church.


In Poland, Grandmother's Day (Polish: Dzień Babci) was created in 1964 by the "Kobieta i Życie" magazine, and popularized from 1965 onwards. It is celebrated on January 21. Grandfather's Day (Polish: Dzień Dziadka) is celebrated a day later, on January 22.[citation needed]

United Kingdom

The celebration was introduced to the UK in 1990 by the charity Age Concern. It has been celebrated on the first Sunday in October since 2008,[14] although it is not widely advertised and hasn't been as commercially successful as Mothers and Fathers Day. Businesses specialising in gifts and greeting cards have started merging the respective grandparents days with Mothers Day and Fathers Day to try to boost sales.

United States

The U.S.'s National Grandparents Day is the first Sunday after Labor Day, in September. In 2010, it falls on September 12, and in 2011 on September 11 (also the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorism attacks).


  1. ^ Congressional Record, February 21, 1977, Joint Resolution S.J. Res. 24, 95th Congress, 1st Session
  2. ^ Jimmy Carter: Proclamation 4580 - National Grandparents Day, 1978
  3. ^ A Tribute to Hermine Beckett Hanna on Establishment of National Grandparents Day (House of Representatives - February 21, 1990)
  4. ^ National Grandparents Council. Johnny Prill Wins National Songwriter's Award. National Grandparents Day. 14 Aug. 2004. Web. <>.
  5. ^ National Grandparents Council. Johnny Prill Wins National Songwriter's Award. National Grandparents Day. 14 Aug. 2004. Web. <>.
  6. ^ National Grandparents Council. Johnny Prill Wins National Songwriter's Award. National Grandparents Day. 14 Aug. 2004. Web. <>.
  7. ^ National Grandparents Council. Johnny Prill Wins National Songwriter's Award. National Grandparents Day. 14 Aug. 2004. Web. <>.
  8. ^ Carter, Jimmy. Letter to Johnny Prill. 2010. National Grandparents Day. Web. <>.
  9. ^ Stabenow, Debbie. "Congratulations." Letter to Johnny Prill. 20 Oct. 2004. National Grandparents Day. Web. <>
  10. ^ Seeger, Pete. Letter to Johnny Prill. Mar. 2010. National Grandparents Day. Web. <>.
  11. ^ "Grandparents Day". Queensland Government. October 14, 2010. Retrieved Nov 6, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Calendar of Events". Queensland Government. November 3, 2010. Retrieved Nov 6, 2010. 
  13. ^ "Debates (No. 247)". Debates of the House of Commons: 35th Parliament, 1st Session. House of Commons of Canada. October 25, 1995. Retrieved May 11, 2008. 
  14. ^ Grandparents Day has moved to Sunday October 5, 2008 - Age Concern 2008-02-26

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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