Historical Timeline

  • 1952: Mary Barrett (President of National Secretaries Association*), C. King Woodbridge (President of Dictaphone Corporation) meet up with Harry Klemfuss of Young & Rubicam in order to find a way to recognize the work of Dictaphone’s existing secretarial pool and attract more women to the secretarial profession.
  • June 1-7 1952: U.S. Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer declares June 1-7 National (Secretaries week). June 4th is designated as National Secretaries Day. The two objectives were to recognize the secretary upon whose skills, loyalty and efficiency the functions of business and government offices depend, and to publicize that the secretarial career was essential to meeting business needs.
  • 1955: National Secretaries week moved to the last full week of April.
  • 1981: National Secretaries Week changed to Professional Secretaries Week
  •  1995: Staff Appreciation Day first appeared on calendars under the title of “Secretaries Day” or “Employee Appreciation Day” and public awareness of this unofficial secular holiday has only increased since then.
  • 2000:  The name “Secretaries Day” was changed to “Administrative Professionals Day” to keep up with the ever-changing responsibilities and job titles of the workforce.
  • As research conclusively reveals the impact of recognition on employee performance, staff ownership of goals, and loyalty, the name has evolved and is more commonly known as Staff Appreciation Day, typically celebrated on the last Wednesday in April.
  • 2014: Administrative Professionals Day celebrated April 23rd

Staff appreciation expands beyond a single day during the year. Appreciation events occur bi-annually, quarterly, and monthly, and can be organized at any time by any manager in an organization. Organizations today are finding new and creative ways to communicate gratitude and appreciation every day.  

* Presently known as the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP)


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