National Children’s Day is celebrated every year on the second Sunday of June in the U.S. This year, it will fall on June 11. This day addresses the importance of children in society and the numerous challenges that some still face in different aspects of their lives. This observation aims to improve children’s welfare, invest in their future, and address mental and physical health issues they may be dealing with. The day also reminds otherwise busy parents to spend time with their kids and makes them realize the importance of spending some precious moments.
History of National Children’s Day
National Children’s Day has been celebrated in the U.S. since the 1800s, although there have been variations in deciding the date and day on which it will be celebrated. Ever since 1857, there have been changes in the dates of celebration.
Reverend Dr. Charles Leonard was the first to establish Children’s Day in 1857 on the second Sunday of June and named the day Rose Day. Leonard was the pastor of the Universalist Church of the Redeemer in Chelsea, Massachusetts, and organized the day to hold a special service dedicated to, and for children, including baptizing them. The name was later changed from Rose Day to Flower Sunday, and then eventually called Children’s Day.
In 1995, President Bill Clinton changed the date to October 8 and established it as National Children’s Day. This was later followed by President George Bush proclaiming that the first Sunday of June should be celebrated as National Children’s Day.
However, in 2009, Pat Quinn, the Governor of Illinois, proclaimed that National Children’s Day will be celebrated on the second Sunday of June every year — and that’s how it has been since then. Many other nations celebrate the rights of children on November 20, which is the day nominated by the United Nations. November 20 is considered an important date as it is the date in 1959 when the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. On the same date in 1989, the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Since 1990, World Children’s Day also marked the anniversary of the date that the U.N. General Assembly adopted both the Declaration as well as the Convention on children’s rights.
National Children’s Day timeline
Children's Day begins on the second Sunday of June when Reverend Dr. Charles Leonard, pastor of the Universalist Church of the Redeemer in Chelsea, Massachusetts, holds a special service for children.
International Children's Day is first observed in Geneva during the World Conference on Child Welfare.
UN General Assembly adopts the Declaration of the Rights of the Child.
President Clinton establishes October 8 as National Children's Day.
Quinn, Governor of Illinois, proclaims that National Children's Day will be celebrated annually on the second Sunday of June.