NATIONAL MIDDLE CHILD DAY | AUGUST 12
Each year on August 12th, National Middle Child Day honors that in-between child in the family. Of course, larger families celebrate more than one middle child, too!
Many believe birth order plays a pivotal role in the personalities of children. For example, the Middle Child Syndrome describes the firstborn as the leader and the role-player. Meanwhile, the youngest one earns the title of the baby family. Therefore, the middle child’s role remains undefined.
Birth order may also contribute to the Big Five personality traits: extroversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience. One personality study also claims that middle children tend to be artistic and creative.
No matter what the personality tests and therapists say, the day directs us to focus on the middle child. The day directs parents and siblings to pull out all the stops. Make your middle-born family members feel special.
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL MIDDLE CHILD DAY
On August 12, recognize the sibling in the middle, the meat of your family sandwich! If you’re a middle child, celebrate your unique position in the family. Keep all middle children in mind. Try these ideas:
- Make their favorite homemade dish and invite them over.
- Send a card and share a memory of them. (Be sure the memory is of the middle child and not one of your other children.)
- Invite your middle child for coffee.
- Call your middle child to find out about their day. This is especially important if you don’t usually call.
- Take a walk with your middle child. Throw a frisbee or do one of their favorite activities.
- Play a card or board game.
- If your middle child has a middle child, suggest all of you make a day of activities together.
Post on social media using #NationalMiddleChildDay to alert others.
NATIONAL MIDDLE CHILD DAY HISTORY
Elizabeth Walker created National Middle Children’s Day in the 1980s. The first celebrations took place on the second Saturday in August. However, along the way, it has become generally accepted to celebrate it on August 12th. In a newspaper article submitted by her grandson, Litton Walker, III, Walker stated that she wanted to create a National Day to honor those children “born in the middle of families” who she felt were “left out.” The name was later changed to National Middle Child Day.
Middle Child Day FAQ
Q. Are there fewer middle children today than in years past?
A. While the size of a household is growing, that doesn’t mean more families are having more children. According to Pew Research data, the number of children born to a woman on average dropped to 1.86 in 2006. The years preceding that wavered around 2 births per woman. Those numbers suggest fewer middle children. However, middle children do exist. Consider families who adopt, blended families, and those who are still having large families of 3+ children.
Q. Are other children in the family celebrated, too?
A. Yes! For example, National Only Child Day celebrates, well, the only child. Considering the statics above, that population is trending upward. National Siblings Day also celebrates every sibling in the family, regardless of birth order. There are also National Sisters Day and Brothers Day.
August 12th Celebrated History
Isaac Singer’s first patent for a commercial sewing machine is granted. Patent No. 8,294 was for improvements to a machine previously patented by Singer.
Using carbolic acid, Joseph Lister performs the first antiseptic surgery on a compound fracture. The patient recovered with no infection.
Thomas Edison completes the first model for the phonograph. While working on the telegraph and telephone, inspiration struck The Wizard of Menlo Park. He speculated if messages could be transferred from paper tape, then voice might also be recorded and transferred. The resulting idea led to Edison developing the phonograph.
The first National Archery Tournament begins at White Stocking Park in Chicago, Illinois.
Bertha Benz makes the first long-distance road trip in her husband’s invention, a motorized carriage. She set out to prove the value of a car in an era ruled by horses. In 12 hours, she drove 106 kilometers (65 miles). A horse-drawn carriage traveling the same distance would take approximately 16 hours.
Ford completes the first Model-T. The car rolled off the assembly line in Detroit, Michigan, on September 27th. The company introduced the revolutionary vehicle to the masses on October 1st of that year.
The home of abolitionist, author, and former slave, Frederick Douglass, is dedicated in Washington, D.C. Restoration the national shrine, Cedar Hill, began in 1921. Then in 1962, the National Park Service took over the supervision of the historic site.
Clarence Birdseye obtains a patent for “Method of Preparing Food Product” that demonstrated how to freeze food and package it for distribution. His patent No. 1773079A led to the frozen food industry.
Ann Davidson completes her 15-month voyage on her sloop, the Felicity Ann. Her achievement makes her the first woman to sail solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs an amendment to the Fair Labor Standards Act, raising the minimum wage from 75¢ to $1.00 per hour.
NASA launches Echo 1A, the first successful communications satellite.
The Space Shuttle Enterprise flies free of the 747 Shuttle Carrier Aircraft for the first time.
The personal computer (PC) comes to market for the first time when IBM releases its Model 5150.
Sue Hendrickson discovers Tyrannosaurus rex remains in South Dakota. One of the most complete skeletons in the world was named Sue in honor of Hendrickson.
Professional baseball players strike, bringing Major League Baseball’s season to an end. The World Series is canceled.
NASA launches the Parker Solar Probe beginning the first mission to the sun. With each perihelion (closest point in orbit to the sun), the probe will gradually edge closer to the sun. By 2025 it will be at its closest perihelion, 6.9 gigameters from the center of the sun.
August 12th Celebrated Birthdays
Christy Mathewson – 1880
As one of the first pitching greats in professional baseball, Mathewson played for several teams, including the New York Giants.
Cecil B. DeMille – 1881
The noted filmmaker produced and directed more than 70 films.
Erwin Schrödinger – 1887
As a theoretical physicist, Schrödinger made contributions to wave theory and quantum mechanics. The Nobel Laureate is noted for being one of the father’s of quantum mechanics and for his thought theory today known as Schrödinger’s Cat.
Tedd Pierce – 1906
Actor, animator, and screenwriter, Pierce is most known for his contributions to the film Gulliver’s Travels (1939) and his animation work.
Gladys Bentley – 1907
As a Blues singer, Bently played the piano and sung with a bold voice. She’s also noted for also breaking down barriers.
Jane Wyatt – 1910
Known for her roles on Father Knows Best and as Spock’s mother in Star Trek, Wyatt began her film career with One More River.
Margaret Burbidge – 1919
Burbage’s achievements include developing instruments for the Hubble Space Telescope and being the first woman appointed as director of the Royal Greenwich Observatory. She also supported opportunities for women in science, an area where she was often denied equality, and shared the spotlight with her husband.
Buck Owens – 1929
Born as Alvis Edgar Owens Jr., the performer achieved success as a musician and singer-songwriter. He played a prominent role in the popular comedy and music show Hee Haw. In 1996, he was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Charlie O’Donnell – 1932
The voice behind several game shows, O’Donnell is best known for announcing the Wheel of Fortune.
John Poindexter – 1936
Poindexter served in the United States Navy and was appointed to the role of Deputy National Security Advisor and National Security Advisor under the Reagan administration.
Mark Knopfler – 1949
As one of the founding members of the band Dire Straights, Knopfler played lead guitar. The composer also wrote several film scores, including The Princess Bride and Wag the Dog.
Ann M. Martin – 1955
Best known for her children’s series The Baby-Sitters Club, Martin began her career in elementary education.
Lynette Woodard – 1959
Woodard was the first female Harlem Globetrotter. She went on to head coach the Winthrop Eagles women’s basketball team.
Sir Mix-A-Lot – 1963
Anthony Ray is known for his hit rap song “Baby Got Back,” released in 1992. He began his career in the mid-1980s as Sir Mix-A-Lot.
Pete Sampras – 1971
Sampras launched his professional tennis career in 1988. He went on to hold the title of most Grand Slam singles wins (14) until it was broken in 2009.