Tracking the origin of National Single Parents Day

Tracking the origin of National Single Parents Day
March 21 marks the 35th anniversary of National Single Parents Day, a day set aside by President Ronald Reagan to honor and recognize those parenting solo.

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Today marks the 35th anniversary of National Single Parents Day, a day set aside by President Ronald Reagan to honor and recognize the hard work, dedication and sacrifices of people who are parenting solo.

“Whether it is a deserted spouse forced to work and care for children simultaneously, or a spouse who is not receiving child support that has been awarded by a court, or an unwed mother who has bravely foregone the all-too-available option of abortion, or a widow or widower, single parents deserve our recognition and appreciation for their demonstrated dedication to their young,” Reagan said in the proclamation released in 1984.

At the time of the proclamation, Census data reflected that the number of single parents living in their own home with children had more than doubled, jumping from 3.8 million to 9.4 million.

By 2018, Census data shows that single parents represented one in three U.S. families where children live with their parents. Most of those homes consist of children living with a mother -- nearly 5 times more than those who report living with a father, according to the most recent Census housing data.

Back in 1960, just 9 percent of children lived in single parent homes.

“Single parents can and do provide children with the financial, physical, emotional and social support they need to take their places as productive and mature citizens,” the proclamation states. “With an active interest and support of friends, relatives and local communities, they can do even more to raise their children in the best possible environment.”

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