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.
The impetus for a National Grandparents Day originated with Marian McQuade, a housewife in Fayette County, West Virginia. Her primary motivation was to champion the cause of lonely elderly in nursing homes. She also hoped to persuade grandchildren to tap the wisdom and heritage their grandparents could provide. President Jimmy Carter, in 1978, proclaimed that National Grandparents Day would be celebrated every year on the first Sunday after Labor Day.
Source: grandparentsday.org | grandparents-day.com
In 2020 National Grandparents’ Day in USA falls on September 13.