Generations United wants everyone to do something grand for Grandparents Day!
National Grandparents Day is rooted in the innovative work of two committed and passionate pioneers: Jacob Reingold and Marian McQuade.
During the 1961 White House Conference on Aging, Jacob Reingold of the Hebrew Home at Riverdale was inspired by a speech concerning the “new image of the aged,” he focused on recognizing the role of millions of older Americans who are grandparents. That same year, on September 16, 1961, the first day specifically honoring grandparents was held at the Hebrew Home. By 1963 it became an official holiday in the borough of the Bronx. And in January 27, 1987 the Congressional Record affirmed Jacob Reingold’s pioneering efforts to gain recognition for grandparents as well as a national day to celebrate them.
In 1970, Marian McQuade began a campaign to establish a special day of recognition for grandparents. Through her efforts, she reached out to the civic, business, faith, and political leaders and began a statewide campaign for Grandparents Day. In 1973, the first Grandparents Day in West Virginia was proclaimed by Governor Arch Moore.
Their work culminated in 1978, when the United States Congress passed legislation proclaiming the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. A presidential proclamation was signed by President Jimmy Carter and thus began the observation of this special holiday.
Since 2010, Generations United has worked with President Barack Obama to bring awareness to Grandparents Day. In 2010, 2011, and 2012, President Obama issued presidential proclamations calling on Americans to “honor those who have helped shape the character of our Nation, and thank these role models for their immeasurable acts of love, care, and understanding.”
Generations United is urging grandparents and older adults to share their wisdom, perspectives and key civic values with young people on Grandparents Day. We’re calling on older adults to join with today’s youth in reaching out to decision makers and beginning one of the most important dialogues in our history: discussing how, as a country, we can address the many challenges facing future generations—from literacy to health and wellness to financial stability. Celebrate Grandparents Day by committing to Do Something Grand!