Sam Wiley & National Family Week History

National Family Week was founded in 1968 by Sam Wiley, a former teacher and administrator from Indianapolis.

Wiley partnered with the Alliance for Children and Families around 1970. The Alliance continues to annually promote the celebration, which is observed during the week of Thanksgiving by Alliance members, but also by numerous community organizations, schools, and universities.

In 2011, the Alliance connected with Wiley’s great-niece, Karen Gardner. Gardner provided a variety of historical photos, National Family Week proclamations from former U.S. presidents, and news articles. Many of these materials are included below.


For more information, contact the Alliance Marketing and Communications Department.

Thank you for posting the photos!

I am so excited to see the photos of my great uncle Sam online! Finally the images appear where they belong. Thank you so very much!

Karen Gardner

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