Since 1914, when Congress designated Mother’s Day, the Congressional penchant for commemoratives has lurched out of control. National Prune Day, Tap Dance Day and Patient Account Management Day now compete with Dairy Goat Awareness Week for the national spotlight.
An astonishing 35 percent of all laws passed by Congress last session celebrated a day, week, month or decade. That added up to 228 commemorative bills for the session. Each takes time and energy: honoring a constituent’s request means lining up a majority in both chambers. Don’t lawmakers have better things to do?
Last session, Rep. Dave McCurdy (D., Okla.) and former Rep. Claudine Schneider (R., R.I.) proposed turning over the chore to a commission such as the one that decides on commemorative stamps- but their proposal died in committee. The current clutter of forgettable occasions is, indeed, as Schneider said, “embarrassing, unfair and a poor use of Congressional resources.” - New York Times
Reader’s Digest, April 1991, page 21