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The Origins of Grandparents Day

Published August 12, 2010        by Sarah

Grandma Crafting with Kids

Don’t forget Grandma and Grandpa this year (September 12, 2010)!  The Sunday after Labor Day each year, the nation comes together to recognized the older generations in our families.  That’s right.  That Sunday is officially recognized by the country as Grandparent’s Day.  This holiday to many, comes with the anticipation to celebrate these important people in our lives with clever and creative Grandparent's Day gifts.

Consider all that your grandparents have done to honor you in the past.  Consider their impact on your youth.  Think back on the many happy memories you shared with them.  Now, think about what it would be like to share them with thirty-nine siblings and cousins.  A master in the art of time management is Marian McQuade, the woman that is able to brag many impressive titles was once Vice-Chairman of the West Virginia Commission on Aging.  Her dedication to serving the older population did not start or end there.

She was the wife of a coal miner, but that did not mean that she was going to settle for a life of quiet, small town living.  She took her love and appreciation for the experienced residents and made it a goal to ensure that they would be properly recognized for their contribution.  Knowing the impact a grandparent could have after having been a grandma to forty children, she was armed with the tools she needed to fight her case.

Her goal was ultimately achieved, nine years after she started her fight for the cause, and in 1979 President Jimmy Carter announced that from that point forward, the first Sunday after Labor Day would be recognized as National Grandparents Day.  This was the perfect day to choose, given that those being honored were in their “autumn years.”  In 2008, Mrs. McQuade passed away.  At the time, she had fifteen children, forty grandchildren, ten great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.  Surely she is honored by many each and every Grandparents Day.