Children’s Day is a holiday that’s observed by many different countries all over the world on various dates throughout the year. It was first celebrated in Turkey on April 23, 1920, and an international holiday called International Children’s Day was proclaimed during the World Conference on Child Welfare in Geneva in 1925. In many countries, the holiday has been celebrated on the first of June since 1950. In the United States, the date of this holiday has changed over time. During the administrations of U.S Presidents George H.W Bush and Bill Clinton, the holiday was celebrated on the 8th of October. In 1993, it was briefly celebrated on November 21 in the U.S. It is now currently celebrated on the second Sunday in June in the U.S.
The History Of Children’s Day
If you really want to trace back the history of Children’s Day, you have to go back over 164-years ago. This is when Reverend Dr. Charles Leonard began children’s day on the Second Sunday in June of 1857 in Chelsea, Massachusetts. It involved a special serviced dedicated to addressing the needs of children. This day was initially Rose Day, and then it became known as Flower Day. Eventually, it would be called the name by which it’s called today, Children’s Day.
As the years went by, Children’s Day began to be celebrated by other people around the world. It was celebrated in Turkey starting in 1920, and it was made a national holiday in 1929. In 1954, the United Nations established this as a worldwide holiday by establishing Universal Children’s Day. In 1959, the U.S adopted an extended form of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child.
In the mid-1990s, U.S President Bill Clinton proclaimed October 8th as Children’s Day. In 2001, the U.S President (George H. W. Bush) declared that the first Sunday in June be called National Children’s Day. As such, this is a holiday that actually can be observed on October 8, the second Sunday in June, or on November 20th. But those aren’t the only days on which this holiday is celebrated in some countries. For example, it’s celebrated on the last Sunday in May in Hungary, and in Norway, it’s celebrated on May 17th. In Austria and Germany, it’s celebrated on September 20th.
Declaration of the Rights of the Child
On November 20, 1959, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Below are some of the bullet points taken from that document:
· Every child must be given what they need for normal development.
· If the child is hungry, they must be fed. If the child is sick, they must be nursed.
· If the child is a delinquent, they must be reclaimed. If the child is an orphan, they must be sheltered.
· Children must be first to receive relief in times of distress.
· The child must be protected against all forms of exploitation.
Observing Children’s Day
Children’s Day can be observed by spending time with your children and grandchildren. It’s a good time to start new traditions with them, to tell them stories about the family’s history, and to teach them a new life skill they can take forward in life. It’s also a good time to use the hashtag #ChildrensDay to spread the word about this holiday.
On June 3, 2001, US President George W. Bush proclaimed National Child's Day as a national holiday that was to be held each year henceforth, in early June. He said: "Every child in every neighborhood has unique gifts to offer. We must nurture our children's dreams, help them develop their talents and abilities, and ensure their healthy development so that they may reach their full potential. Our success in this vital endeavor will affect the direction of their lives and the future strength and vitality of our Nation. In recognition of the importance of our Nation's children, the Senate, by Senate Resolution 90 approved May 25, 2001, has designated June 3, 2001, as "National Child's Day" and has requested that the President issue a Proclamation calling for appropriate ceremonies and activities. NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 3, 2001, as National Child's Day. I encourage all Americans to share in the mission of preparing our young people for life's challenges and opportunities. By reading to youngsters, listening to their cares and concerns, and providing them with safe and loving homes, we can make a positive and lasting contribution to their health, happiness, and well-being."