NATIONAL MISSING CHILDREN’S DAY
National Missing Children’s Day on May 25th each year shines a spotlight on child safety. The observance also honors the professionals dedicated to protecting children around the country.
Most children who go missing do come home. Whether they’ve wandered off or there was a misunderstanding, many find their way back to their family. According to the Polly Klaas Foundation, 99.8 percent come home. Of those who are abducted, 9 percent are kidnapped by family. Only a small fraction are stranger abductions. But the fact remains, if it happens to any child, it happens to too many.
While the observance honors those who’ve gone above and beyond to protect children, it also offers resources to continue protecting them further. Here are ways to keep your children safe every day.
It’s important to:
- maintain custody documents
- keep recent photos of children handy
- also, keep medical and dental records up to date
Protect your children by:
- making online safety a priority
- complete background checks on caregivers and check references
- never leave young children unattended in strollers and car seats
- whenever possible, don’t dress children in clothing with their names on it
- teach them their address and phone number as young as possible
HOW TO OBSERVE #MissingChildrensDay
Other ways to get involved include recognizing someone dedicated to protecting children and to bringing missing children home. Attend a ceremony honoring law enforcement and private citizens alike. You can also:
- volunteer in your community
- share a safety presentation
- visit www.ojdp.gov to enter their poster contest
Use #MissingChildrensDay to post on social media.
NATIONAL MISSING CHILDREN’S DAY HISTORY
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed National Missing Children’s Day recognizing the hundreds of thousands of children who went missing each year. Just a few short years before, six-year-old Etan Patz disappeared from his New York City home on his way from the bus to school on May 25, 1979. The observance commemorated the date of Etan’s disappearance and honored missing children everywhere. During the time of his disappearance, cases of missing children rarely gained national media attention. However, Etan’s case quickly received much coverage. Etan’s father, who was a professional photographer, distributed black-and-white photographs of his son to find him. The result was a massive search and media attention that focused the public’s attention on the problem of child abductions and the lack of plans to address them.
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May 25th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) History
Babe Ruth hits the final home run of his career. At 714 home runs, Ruth’s career record stood until April 8, 1974, when Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run.
Howard Florey, Ernst Chain, and Norman Heatley conducted a test of Alexander Fleming’s “mold juice.” The three scientists injected eight mice with a deadly dose of streptococci. Four of the mice received an injection of penicillin. The four mice that received the penicillin were alive the next day. In 1945, Alexander Fleming, the microbiologist who discovered penicillin, Howard Florey and Ernst Chain equally shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine “for the discovery of penicillin and its curative effect in various infections diseases.
The George Lucas-directed film, Star Wars, opens in U.S. theatres.
Ken Kragen, the USA for Africa president in 1986, held a nationwide fundraiser for hunger called Hands Across America. From Battery Park in Manhattan and stretch across the Heartland to Long Beach, California. Participants held hands for 15 minutes and sang “We Are The World,” “America the Beautiful,” and the event’s song, “Hand’s Across America.” The event raised $15 million for hunger after many expenses. In 2021, the event was revived again as a virtual event to raise funds for hunger and celebrating the 30th anniversary of the original event while bringing the country together again. The virtual event takes place on Tuesday, May 25, 2021.
May 25th Celebrated (and Not So Celebrated) Birthdays
Ralph Waldo Emerson – 1803
The American poet, essayist, and Transcendentalist published his first book, Nature, in 1836 where he expressed his philosophy.
Bill “Bojangles” Robinson – 1878
The legendary American tap dancer and entertainer began his career in vaudeville but in the 1920s, Robinson found his way to Broadway and a huge success. In the 1930s, his star value grew on the silver screen.
Caro Crawford Brown – 1908
Caro Crawford Brown’s investigative reporting is credited with helping to end boss rule controlled by Archer Parr in Duval County and surrounding counties in Texas. In 1955, Caro earned a Pulitzer Prize for local reporting.
Frank Oz – 1944
The talented performer brought to life some of the most lovable fictional characters in television and film. From the Muppet show to Sesame Street and the Dark Crystal, Oz earned numerous awards for his work.