Administrative Professionals' Day was originally organized in 1952 as "National Secretaries Day" by the National Secretaries Association (also known as the "International Association of Administrative Professionals) in conjunction with a consortium of office products manufacturers. It was established as an effort to recognize secretaries for their contributions in the workplace.
It is an unofficial secular holiday observed on the last Wednesday of April, to recognize the work of clerical employees such as secretaries, receptionists, paralegals, and so forth. It is celebrated as part of a larger Administrative Professionals Week, which takes place during the last full week of April. In 1998, the name of the holiday was changed from Secretaries’ Day to Administrative Professionals’ day to better represent the full range of clerical positions.
In the United States, the day is often celebrated by giving one's secretary flowers, candy, or small gifts, or by taking him or her out to lunch.
The day is observed on the third or fourth Wednesday of April (i.e. April 25, 2007; April 23, 2008).
National Professional Secretaries Week and National Secretaries' Day was created in 1952 through the work of Harry F. Klemfuss of Young and Rubicam. Klemfuss recognized the importance and value of the position to a company or business. His goal was to encourage more women to become administrative assistants (called secretaries at the time). Using his skill and experience in public relations, Klemfuss promoted the values and importance of the job of administrative assistants. In doing so, he also created the holiday in recognition of the importance of administrative assistants.
Evolution of the Date
The official period of appreciation/ celebration was first proclaimed by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer as "National Secretaries Week," which was held June 1-7 in 1952, with Wednesday, June 4, 1952 designated National Secretaries Day. The first Secretaries' Day was held in that year by the National Secretaries Association (now the IAAP), with the support of an association of corporate groups.
In 1955, the observance date of National Secretaries Week was moved to the last full week of April. The name was changed to Professional Secretaries Week in 1981, and became Administrative Professionals Week in 1998 to encompass the expanding responsibilities and wide-ranging job titles of administrative support staff.
Over the years, Administrative Professionals Week has become one of the largest workplace observances. The event is celebrated worldwide, bringing together millions of people for community events, social gatherings, and individual corporate activities recognizing support staff with gifts of appreciation. In the United States, the day is often celebrated by giving one's assistant such gifts as flowers, candy, trinkets, lunch at a restaurant, or time off.
The International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) is the sole official sponsor of Administrative Professionals Week and Administrative Professionals Day.