The first meeting of the Gold Star Wives of America was on April 5, 1945, when four young widows met in Marie Jordan's apartment on West 20th Street in New York City. One week later, President Franklin D. Roosevelt died. Shortly thereafter, Eleanor Roosevelt, the widow of the Commander-in-Chief, joined the organization. Mrs. Roosevelt was most helpful in the early days of the organization. She attended meetings, wrote about the organization in her "My Day" column, entertained children of Gold Star Wives at a picnic at her home in Hyde Park, New York, served on the first board of directors, and was one of the original 15 signers when the organization was chartered as a non-profit organization in the State of New York in December 1945.
In 2013, the U.S. Senate designated April 5 as Gold Wives Day in recognition of the sacrifices made by spouses and family members of our fallen heroes. Many state and local communities also formally recognize April 5th as Gold Star Wives Day.
Each member, and each chapter, should try and do something special. It can be a simple lunch with friends or a get-together with chapter members. Call your Congress person on this day. Try and get some media exposure in your area, so we can reach out to possible new members. Don't be afraid to invite your political leaders, military VIPs and others, as a means of public relations.
A very encompassing review of this day is found from our friends at Military Benefits, which includes some ideas on what has been done in the past.
You can make it big or small, just remember to have fun. It's our day to celebrate!