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History of Grandparents Day


Created in 1978, National Grandparents Day is a holiday designated to honor and commemorate the elder members of a family.

The Origin of Grandparents Day

The founder of National Grandparents Day was a woman named Marian McQuade of Oak Hill, West Virginia. Her goal was to educate the younger generations about all of the important contributions the elder community has made throughout history, and urged them to "adopt" a grandparent.

Senator Jennings Randolph introduced a resolution to the Senate in 1973 aimed to recognize Grandparents Day as a national holiday. Unfortunately, the resolution died in committee. McQuade responded by organizing supporters to contact congressmen, senators, and governors in every state, encouraging them to each establish their own Grandparents Day. Within a few years, 43 states had sent her proclamations of the holiday, and she sent those copies back to Senator Randolph.

A joint resolution was filed in early 1977 by Randolph and many other senators to declare the first Sunday after Labor Day as Grandparents Day. On August 3, 1978, then-President Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation to make it an official national holiday.

Grandparents Day Today

The holiday is only gaining in popularity as the Baby Boom generation ages. It is a day 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 Forget-Me-Not is declared the official flower of this holiday, and a song titled A Song for Grandma and Grandpa was commissioned in 2005 by Johnny Prill as the Official Grandparents Day Song.