national family week

National Family Week is an annual celebration observed during the week of Thanksgiving.  We encourage you to engage in family and community activities during National Family Week to encourage others to celebrate happy and healthy families and communities.

Download this Family Activity Checklist for fun things to do as a family or visit the site of for some great ideas for celebrating National Family Week this year.  They have ideas for families and individuals, as well as to organizations and community groups.  Download this National Family Week Brochure from American Legion for some guidelines of how you can get involved.

According to the National Family Week Foundation, for more than 45 years, the week including Thanksgiving has been proclaimed National Family Week. This observance was the idea of Mr. Sam Wiley, a teacher, basketball coach and school administrator in Indiana who observed the stark difference in children who came from strong, supportive families and those who were not being raised in a traditional family unit. He conceived of the idea to set aside a time during Thanksgiving -- when families traditionally gather to give thanks for their many blessings -- to recognize the important role family plays in our society. It has been proclaimed by every President of the United States since Richard Nixon in the early 1970s. 


The American Legion has long recognized the family as the foundation of this nation. A guiding principle of The American Legion’s Children & Youth programs continues to be maintaining the integrity of the family. To demonstrate their resolute belief in the importance of strong families, the American Legion’s Committee on Children & Youth, by mandate, advocates the passage of federal legislation that would establish the Thanksgiving holiday week as National Family Week.