National Secretaries Week was created in 1952 through the efforts of Harry F. Klemfuss, a New York publicist.Working in conjunction with the National Secretaries Association, later known as the International Association of Administrative Professionals, Klemfuss wanted to encourage more people to consider careers in the secretarial/administrative support field.
The official period of 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 sponsored by the National Secretaries Association with the support 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 through community events, social gatherings, and individual corporate activities recognizing support staff with gifts. In the United States, the day is often celebrated by giving one’s assistant gifts such as flowers, candy, trinkets, lunch at a restaurant, or time off.