Children’s Day is recognized on various days in many places around the world to honor children globally. It was first proclaimed by the World Conference for the Well-being of Children in 1925 and then established universally in 1954 to protect an "appropriate" day.
Children’s Day observations in the United States predate both Mother’s and Father’s Day, though a permanent annual single Children’s Day observation is not made at the national level.
In 1856, Rev. Charles H. Leonard, D.D., then pastor of the First Universalist Church of Chelsea, Mass., set apart a Sunday for the dedication of children to the Christian life, and for the re-dedication of parents and guardians to bringing-up their children in Christian nurture. This service was first observed the second Sunday in June.
The Universalist Convention at Baltimore in September 1867, passed a resolution commending churches to set apart one Sunday in each year as Children’s Day.
The Methodist Episcopal Church at the Methodist Conference of 1868 recommended that second Sunday in June be annually observed as Children’s Day.
The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in 1883 designated "the second Sabbath in June as Children’s Day."
Also in 1883, the National Council of Congregational Churches and nearly all the state bodies of that denomination in the United States passed resolutions commending the observance of the day. About this time many other denominations adopted similar recommendations.
Chase’s Calendar of Events cites Children’s Sunday and notes that The Commonwealth of Massachusetts issues an annual proclamation for the second Sunday in June.
Numerous churches and denominations currently observe the second Sunday in June including the African Methodist Episcopal Church, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, and the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.
Children & Youth Day in Hawaii started in 1994 when the Hawaii Legislature became the first to pass a law to recognize the first Sunday in October as "Children’s Day". In 1997, the Legislature passed another landmark law designating the entire month of October as "Children and Youth Month".
In 1996, author Pat Mora, after learning about the annual Mexican tradition of celebrating April 30 as El dia del nino, the Day of the Child, proposed an annual celebration in the U.S. of El dia de los ninos, El dia de los libros/Children’s Day, Book Day, thus honoring children and connecting them to literacy, essential in a democracy. Assistance starting this community-based, family literacy initiative was provided by REFORMA, the National Association to Promote Library & Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish Speaking. Often known as Dia, because it is both a daily commitment and an annual April celebration, Children’s Day, Book Day, has grown to link all children to books, languages and cultures. A major partner is the Association for Library Services to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA). Every year, across the country, hundreds of libraries, schools, and community organizations, etc. hold culminating April Children’s Day, Book Day celebrations that unite communities, creating an annual tradition much like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
Children’s Day was proclaimed by President Bill Clinton to be held on October 11, 1998, in response to a letter written by a six-year-old boy inquiring if he would make a Children’s Day for him. "National Child’s Day" was proclaimed by President George W. Bush as June 3, 2001 and in subsequent years on the first Sunday in June.
Since 2009, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has issued proclamations proclaiming the second Sunday in June as Children’s Day as had the previous governor in 2007 and 2008. The mayors of Aurora and Batavia, Illinois, also have issued proclamations.
In April 23, 2011 Executive of King County WA declared April 23 as the International Children’s Day.
Children’s Day celebrations of Turkish Community in California lead to State of California recognizing the last Saturday of April as the Children’s Day.
In 2016 National Child’s Day in USA falls on June 5.