The History of August 1st, International Childfree Day
In August 1973, the National Organization for Non-Parents, or NON (which later become the National Alliance for Optional Parenthood, or NAOP) celebrated Non-Parents Day–and they did in style.
As NON at the time, it chose a Male National Non-Parent of the Year, and a Female National Non-Parent of the Year.
The winners: Stewart Mott, a 35-year-old bachelor and philanthropist, and Mrs. Anna Silverman, a 25-year-old teacher and co-author (with her husband Arthur) of The Case Against Having Children.
On August 2, 1973, they both rode down 5th Avenue in New York in a special open top cab with laurel leaf crowns, and were crowned “Non-Parent King and Queen” near the Plaza Hotel to call attention to the fact that they had declared the day before, August 1, Non-Parents Day.
There were other festivities as well. Joan Harriman, the executive coordinator of NON, who had two children of her own, organized a “Consciousness Raising Social” at the Institute for Rational Living, with the National Non-Parents of the Year winners presiding.
For a small fee, you can get an archived copy of The New York Times article that covered the event, “A King and a Queen, but There Are No Princes or Princesses in Sight,” here.
NON – later NAOP – in its day did some great work to educate society that parenthood is optional.
Forty years later, in 2013, internationally known childfree author and expert on the childfree choice Laura Carroll spearheaded bringing back this “Day” on August 1 of each year. She pulled together childfree authors and bloggers Marcia Drut-Davis, Patricia Pedraza-Nafziger, Amy and Lance Blackstone that year to start it again as an annual recognition of amazing childfree people and their lives, and as a wonderful way to foster the acceptance of the childfree choice in today’s society. Each year the Childfree Person and Group of the Year are nominated, the Selection Panel picks the winners who are announced on International Childfree Day.
Please join us!