D. Husar: With days honoring mothers, fathers and grandparents, how about one for kids?

Posted: Jul. 8, 2011 7:06 am Updated: Nov. 28, 2014 2:17 pm

In the Husar household, every day is Mother's Day.

Every day is Father's Day, too, thanks to our much-loved kids, Katie and Johnny.

We celebrate the actual holidays, but even more important, we do our best to recognize, if not always celebrate, the day-to-day joys of parenting.

Katie thinks we need to celebrate something else -- kids.

She wants to see a Kids Day, a special day to honor kids just like the holidays already on the calendar for mothers, fathers and grandparents.

Turns out she's not alone.

Gov. Pat Quinn proclaimed June 12 this year as Children's Day in Illinois. It's the fifth straight year Illinois leaders recognized the second Sunday in June as a day to honor youngsters, and John Ross hopes to see the idea spread nationwide.

Ross advocates for Children's Day and is part of the growing movement spearheading the holiday through a website,

"I am hopeful that other state governors and local government leaders will get onboard and recognize this historic date," Ross said. "Children across America need this day, now more than ever."

Children's Day observations in the U.S. predate both Mother's and Father's Day, the website said, with churches providing initial support.

The Methodist Episcopal Church at the Methodist Conference of 1868 recommended that the second Sunday in June be observed annually as Children's Day. The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in 1883 designated the "second Sabbath in June" as Children's Day.

U.S. mothers, fathers and grandparents weren't routinely honored until well into the 20th Century.

Mother's Day had its origins in Mothering Sunday, celebrated in England since the 1600s, but didn't take root officially in U.S. until 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson set the national observance for the second Sunday in May, thanks to the efforts of Anna M. Jarvis, who wanted the day as a remembrance of her late mother and in honor of peace.

Efforts to honor fathers in the U.S. date to 1908 with the first legislation introduced in 1913 but not adopted. By 1957, Maine Sen. Margaret Chase Smith accused Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers, but it wasn't until 1966 when President Lyndon B. Johnson issued a proclamation and designated the third Sunday in June to honor fathers. Father's Day became a permanent national holiday in 1972.

A West Virginia housewife and mother of 15 pushed for Grandparents Day, signed into law in 1978 by President Jimmy Carter and observed on the first Sunday after Labor Day. Marian McQuade wanted the day to honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children and to help children become aware of the strength, information and guidance offered by older people.

Ross wants to see Children's Day both boost awareness and affirm America's young people.

The website offers help and urges a commitment to love, cherish and nurture the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs of children in the United States and around the world.

Universal Children's Day, held Nov. 20 each year, promotes the same idea. The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed the day in 1954 to promote mutual exchange and understanding among children and to promote the welfare of the world's children.

Sounds like an idea so simple that even a child can understand.



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