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National Grandparents Day is a secular holiday celebrated in the United States of America and the United Kingdom 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 (for the first time Grandma's Day was celebrated in Poland in 1965,see below for dates by country). One celebrates both paternal and maternal grandparents.
Marian McQuade of Oak Hill, West Virginia, has been recognized nationally by the United States Senate – in particular by Senators Jennings Randolph; 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. Co-founder Cynthia Bennett, who worked for Marian's husband, contributed by writing letters of verification.
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.
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. The statute cites the day's purpose: "...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".
Music of the U.S.A. National Grandparents Day
In 2004, the National Grandparents Day Council of Chula Vista, California announced that A Song for Grandma and Grandpa by Johnny Prill would be their official song of the U.S. National Grandparents Day holiday.
The National Grandparents' Day Council presented Prill with an award in recognition of his composition: A Song for Grandma and Grandpa.
Flower of U.S. National Grandparents Day
The 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.
Grandparents' Day[s] around the world
The state Queensland celebrates Grandparents' Day on the first Sunday in October. New South Wales held their first Grandparents' Day on Sunday 30 October 2011, and will celebrate it each year on the last Sunday of October. This year's Grandparents' Day is being led by Council on the Ageing NSW (COTA NSW). The Australian Capital Territory and Western Australia held their first Grandparents' Day in 2012.
National Grandparents' Day began in Canada in 1995 but was discontinued in 2014. 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.
In Estonia, Grandparents' Day (Vanavanemate päev) is celebrated on the second Sunday in September.
In France, Grandmothers' Day (La fête des grands-mères) was launched in 1987 by a brand of coffee (Café Grand'Mère), part of the Kraft Jacobs Suchard Group. The date is now included in French calendars and is celebrated on the first Sunday in March.
In Germany, Grandmothers' Day was established in 2010 and is celebrated on the second Sunday in October.
Junior Chamber International Victoria introduced the first Grandparents' Day in Hong Kong in 1990. It is celebrated on the second Sunday in October.
In Italy, Grandparents' Day (officially Festa Nazionale dei Nonni, "National Grandparents' Feast") was established in 2005 and is celebrated on October 2, Guardian Angels' Day in the Roman Catholic Church.
In Poland, "Grandma'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. "Grandpa's Day" (Polish: Dzień Dziadka) is celebrated a day later, on January 22.
Singapore started celebrating Grandparents' Day in 1979, a year after the U.S. started. It is celebrated on the fourth Sunday in November.
South Sudan started celebrating Grandparents' Day in 2013 and celebrated on the 2nd Sunday in November.
The Ministry of Education (Republic of China) initiated Grandparents' Day (祖父母節, Zǔfùmǔ Jié) in Taiwan on 29 August 2010, on the last Sunday in August annually, shortly before schoolchildren would start a new semester.
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, although it is not widely advertised and has not been as commercially successful as Mother's and Father's Day. Businesses specialising in gifts and greeting cards have started merging the respective grandparents days with Mother's Day and Father's Day to try to boost sales.
National Grandparents' Day in the U.S. is the first Sunday after Labor Day, in September.