|To honor grandparents|
|To give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children.|
|To help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance older people can offer.|
In 1970, a West Virginia
housewife, Marian Lucille Herndon McQuade, initiated a campaign to set
aside a special day just for Grandparents. Through concerted
efforts on the part of civic, business, church, and political leaders,
this campaign expanded statewide. Senator Jennings Randolph (D-WV) was
especially instrumental in the project.
The first Grandparents Day was proclaimed in 1973 in West Virginia by
Governor Arch Moore. Also in 1973, Senator
Randolph introduced a Grandparents Day resolution in the United States
Senate. The resolution languished in committee.
Mrs. McQuade and her team turned to the media to garner support. They also began contacting governors, senators, congressmen in every state. And they sent letters to churches, businesses, and numerous national organizations interested in senior citizens. In 1978, five years after its West Virginia inception, the United StatesCongress passed legislation proclaiming the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. The proclamation was signed by President Jimmy Carter. (September was chosen for the holiday, to signify the "autumn years" of life.)
Today this event, begun by only a few, is observed by millions throughout the United States.
A native of Fayette County,
Marian McQuade and her husband Joe are the parents of 15 children. They
have 40 grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren.
Mrs. McQuade began a campaign in 1970 to set aside a day for grandparents; yet her work with senior citizens dates back to 1956, beginning with the Past Eighty Party, (originated by Jim Comstock, editor of the West Virginia Hillbilly). Mrs. McQuade has worked in several states with seniors. Iin 1971, she was elected Vice-Chairman of the West Virginia Committee on Aging and appointed as delegate to the White House Conference on Aging by Governor Arch A. Moore.
In 1972, Mrs. McQuade's efforts helped persuade President Richard Nixon to proclaim a National Shut-in Day.
As Grandparents Day approaches, help Children and/or Grandchildren to identify and date all photos in old family albums. Many happy memories can be derived from this.Everyone is a grandchild and can be involved in the observance of this day - a time to discover one's roots and leam patience, understanding and appreciation for the elderly. Grandparents Day is the perfect time to enhance communication between the generations.
talents, such as cooking, sculpting or quilting can be passed on to
those who display an interest. Old family music, songs and dances,
along with their meanings and origins, are important in maintaining
a strong sense of family background. Together, re-construct a
family tree, giving children the opportunity to learn the ancestral
line of their family. Strive to preserve particular ethnic or religious
Many times, only grandparents have answers to questions about family histories. When this information is passed down to the grandchildren, everyone can be assured of his heritage being preserved.