National Senior Citizens Day
annually on August 21st (since 1988)
President Ronald Reagan on August 19th, 1988
Older people in our communities—senior citizens—have contributed so much to the success of the United States throughout their entire lives, and they continue to do so as they grow old. As time goes on, in part because of advances in healthcare, people are living longer lives and staying productive longer. Many senior citizens continue to work or volunteer well into old age. Today we honor them, and we show them gratitude by making sure our communities are places they can thrive as they reach their sunset years.
In 1988, House Joint Resolution 138 designated August 21 as National Senior Citizens Day. It authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation for the day. Accordingly, President Ronald Reagan issued Proclamation 5847. The original legislation called for those over the age of 55 to be honored. There continues to be a debate over at what age one becomes a senior citizen. Some say 55, while others say 62, 65, or 67. On National Senior Citizens Day, it seems appropriate that anyone who wishes to identify as a senior citizen and is over the age of 55 should be able to be honored.
How to Observe
Celebrate the day by showing appreciation for senior citizens in your community. Spend some time with one or more of them. Volunteer to help them with something, or just keep them company. Work to make your community a place where they feel they are an integral and useful part of. If you are a senior citizen, enjoy your day! Many places have senior citizen discounts, so make sure to take advantage of that today.