Administrative Professionals Day formerly known as Secretary's Day is an unofficial secular holiday observed on the Wednesday of the last full week of April, to recognize the work of secretaries, administrative assistants, receptionists, and other administrative support professionals.
National Secretaries Week was created in 1952 through the work of Harry F. Klemfuss of Young & Rubicam, in conjunction with the National Secretaries Association, now known as the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP). His goal was to encourage more people to consider careers in the secretarial/administrative support field. 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.
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 2000 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 Flowers, candy, small gifts, lunch at a restaurant, and time off.
By far the most common practice is to give flowers for Administrative Professionals Day.
The International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP), the sole official sponsor of Administrative Professionals Week and Administrative Professionals Day, suggests that employers show their support for the holiday, and their staff, by providing training opportunities for their administrative staff, whether through continuing education, self-study materials, or seminars.
Administrative Professionals Day is a registered trademark with registration number 2,475,334 (serial number 75/898930). The registrant is the International Association of Administrative Professionals.