Skip to main content

National Grandparents Day Is Always the First Sunday After Labor Day

Margaret Minnicks has been an online writer for many years. She writes articles that are interesting to her readers.


National Grandparents Day is a secular holiday that has been celebrated since 1979. It is always officially recognized in the United States on the first Sunday after Labor Day. It is recognized in other countries on different days of the year as a separate Grandmothers Day and Grandfathers Day. In the United States, there is only one day designated for both grandparents, maternal and paternal.

Grandparents Day is not on the same date every year because Labor Day is not on the same date. In 2021, the date of Grandparents Day is on Sunday, September 12.

Purpose of National Grandparents Day

Grandparents Day was established to help children connect with their grandparents and also become aware of the advice and wealth of knowledge that older generations offer.

Of the 7,000,000 grandparents in the United States today, the average age is 48 years old. They are young enough to enjoy playing games with their grandchildren.

If grandparents live far away from their grandchildren, they can communicate via FaceTime on their computers or smartphones. Studies show that on average grandparents and their grandchildren communicate about two to three times every week. Their virtual time isn't long. Usually, their time together is only about five to ten minutes.


History of Grandparents Day

Marian McQuade of Oak Hill, West Virginia was instrumental in getting Grandparents Day approved as a secular holiday. She urged the United States Senate and President Jimmy Carter to get each state to proclaim their own Grandparents Day. Within three years, she had received Grandparents Day proclamations from forty-three states.

Congress passed the legislation proclaiming the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents' Day and on August 3, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation.

According to the statute, Grandparents Day has three purposes:

  1. to honor grandparents
  2. to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children
  3. to help children become aware of strength, information, and guidance older people can offer

Official Flowers for Grandparents Day

Forget-Me-Nots are official flowers for Grandparents Day

Forget-Me-Nots are official flowers for Grandparents Day

President Joseph Biden's Proclamation

Each year the current President of the United States issues a proclamation to designate the first Sunday in September after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. Within the proclamation, there is a call for people, groups and organizations to observe the day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

Scroll to Continue

President Joseph Biden, Jr. proclaimed September 12, 2021 to be National Grandparents Day. The entire proclamation is rather long. It can be read in its entirety here. In the meantime, here are the last two paragraphs of the proclamation dated September 10, 2021.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR., President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 12, 2021, as National Grandparents Day. I call upon all Americans to celebrate the important role that grandparents play in the lives of their families and the children they love.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this tenth day
of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-sixth. ---- JOSEPH R. BIDEN JR.

President Biden is indeed a family man. He had four children. Two of them have passed away. He and Dr. Jill Biden now have seven grandchildren. Many of his grandchildren appeared with him throughout his campaign for president.

Activities to Honor Grandparents

There are many things grandchildren can do to honor their grandparents. They include but are not limited to communicating with them via phone calls, FaceTime, Skype, or Zoom, giving gifts, sending cards, visiting them, taking them out to dinner, or cooking them a special meal.

In the United States, over four million greeting cards are sent each year. Grandparents who are in nursing homes or retirement communities appreciate the love shown to them whenever possible and especially on Grandparents Day.

It is good to know that in the United States, grandchildren aren't forced to honor their grandparents. They do so because they want to express love and devotion freely. In some countries, it is a law that children and grandchildren should take care of their elderly parents and grandchildren.


Some grandparents do something nice for their grandchildren all year long including birthdays, Christmas, Valentine"s Day, graduations, when they get good marks on their report cards, and on other special occasions. Sometimes, there is no occasion at all. From time to time, grandparents just want to surprise them by sending them presents from Amazon. It is a good way to let children know they are thought of even they might not see one another in person.

Even though the first Sunday after Labor Day is considered National Grandparents Day, the day is often enjoyed by grandchildren and other family members as well.

Makai is senior in high school. Tori is sophomore in high school. AJ is senior in college.

Makai, 16; Tori, 15;  AJ, 21

Makai, 16; Tori, 15; AJ, 21


Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on September 11, 2016:

Thanks for reading and commenting. I am a grandmother, but my grandchildren are so busy they never remember. That's OK though. I love them anyway. By the way, they are pictured with me in the article. That's an old picture. All three of them are now as tall as I am.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on September 11, 2016:

Thanks for bringing Grandparents Day to the surface. I never remember it, never participated, but I'm searching my mind right now for someone I could honor as a grandparent figure. Thank you.

Related Articles