About National Grandparent’s Day
Grandparents Day is an official national holiday, signed by President Carter on August 3rd 1978 and celebrated on the first Sunday after Labor Day.
The day is celebrated to show the bond between grandparents and their grandchildren.
The statute cites the day's purpose is "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".
Who Created National Grandparent’s Day?
It was a housewife in West Virginia, Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade, who initiated the campaign in 1970 to set aside a special day for grandparents.
She was born in 1917 and had 15 children, 43 grandchildren and 10 great grandchildren — even one great-great grandchild before her death in 2008.
In 1956, Marian was helping to organize a community celebration for seniors over 80 when she noticed how many residents of nursing homes seemed to be forgotten. Wanting to remind people of those forgotten individuals and to honor all grandparents, she became the activist responsible for West Virginia becoming the first state to declare a Grandparents’ Day in 1973. That small step led her and others to the national arena, and in 1978 the observance became a national holiday when President Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation. He recognized Marion McQuade as the founder, saying "I urge each citizen to pause and to reflect on the influence his grandparents have had in shaping his own destiny." Carter added, and on the legacy bestowed upon our contemporary society by his grandparents’ generation."
In 2016, President Barack Obama authored a similar proclamation for National Grandparents Day, noting that "Let us continue to show them [our grandparents] the same honor they have shown us."
Even though it was signed in as a national holiday it is celebrated more as an observance than a public holiday and according to card companies, the day is less important for revenue than nine other holidays, including St. Patrick’s Day.