Like Mother’s day and Father’s day, we also have a whole day dedicated to our grandparents. Grandparents and children have a special connection that is proven to both make grandparents live longer and children more emotionally resilient. National Grandparents Day is an opportunity to treasure that connection and spend some quality time together.
In 1969, nine-year-old Russell Capper sent President Richard Nixon a letter suggesting that a day should be set aside in order to celebrate grandparents. On June 12, 1969, he received a letter back from Rose Mary Woods — Personal Secretary to the President — reading:
“Dear Russell, Thank you for your letter to President Nixon. Your suggestion regarding a Grandparent’s Day is appreciated, but the President ordinarily issues proclamations designating periods for special observance only when a Congressional resolution authorizes him to do so. With best wishes, Sincerely, Rose Mary Woods, Personal Secretary to the President.”
In 1977, Senator Jennings Randolph, with the help of 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. On August 3, 1978, Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation, and, the day was celebrated the next year.
Following this, Marian McQuade, who served on the West Virginia Commission on Aging and the Nursing Home Licensing Board - was recognized nationally by the U.S. Senate, and, by President Jimmy Carter, as the founder of National Grandparents Day.
Marian McQuade wanted to educate the youth about the importance of seniors, and the contributions that they had made and continue to make, throughout history. She urged the youth to “adopt” a grandparent and learn more about their lives, and desires for the future.
Quotes about grandparents:
“If nothing is going well, call your grandparents.”
“Grandchildren are a grandparent's link to the future. Grandparents are the child's link to the past.”
“The reason grandchildren and grandparents get along so well is that they have a common enemy.”
“No cowboy was ever faster on the draw than a grandparent pulling a baby picture out of a wallet.”
“Young people need something stable to hang on to — a culture connection, a sense of their own past, a hope for their own future. Most of all, they need what grandparents can give them.”