The first meeting of the Gold Star Wives of America was on April 5, 1945, when four young widows met in Marie Jordan's apartment on West 20th Street in New York City. One week later, President Franklin D. Roosevelt died. Shortly thereafter, Eleanor Roosevelt, the widow of the Commander-in-Chief, joined the organization. Mrs. Roosevelt was most helpful in the early days of the organization. She attended meetings, wrote about the organization in her “My Day” column, entertained children of Gold Star Wives at a picnic at her home in Hyde Park, New York, served on the first board of directors, and was one of the original 15 signers when the organization was chartered as a non-profit organization in the State of New York in December 1945.
In 2013, the U.S. Senate designated April 5 as Gold Wives Day in recognition of the sacrifices made by spouses and family members of our fallen heroes. Many state and local communities also formally recognize April 5th as Gold Star Wives Day. (Gold Star Wives of America, Inc; www.goldstarwives.org)