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September 7th celebrates two great things: the United States Postal Service and… grandparents! Yes, today is both Neither Rain Nor Snow Day and Grandparents Day.
Why is it called Neither Rain Nor Snow Day? Though the Post Office has no official creed or motto, the inscription on the James A. Farley Post Office building reads: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” The quotation was derived from Herodotus’ Histories and chosen by the building’s original 1912 architects.
Neither Rain Nor Snow Day is celebrated today in honor of the James A. Farley Post Office’s official opening day: September 7, 1914. And no, I don’t know why it’s “Neither Rain Nor Snow Day” and not “Neither Snow Nor Rain Day”… the latter of which would make more sense, given the original inscription. Huh. Maybe it just sounds better with rain first… or maybe it’s just because rain is more common nationwide! Whatever the case, you can show your post office love with this great Carve Your Own Message Card!
September 7th shares its postal glory with another great American (and worldwide!) tradition—grandparents! Grandparents Day was originally championed by Marian McQuade, who wanted to (1) further the cause of lonely elderly people in nursing homes and (2) persuade grandchildren to tap the wisdom and heritage their grandparents could provide. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter proclaimed that National Grandparents Day would be celebrated every year on the first Sunday after Labor Day. Generations United has a great website to help you—as older adults and as kids—close the generation gap and become stronger families together. Their motto is “Do something grand!”
One way to honor your grandparents (especially if they are still living) is to help them compile their life story using the Fill-in-the-Blanks Life Story interviewing packet. It’s just twelve pages, but it’s sure to be a great jumping-off point for many grand stories. So, what will you be doing for or with your elders today? Mother and fathers all get their own days… why not grandparents, too?