Happy Father’s Day to all! Whether you’re a new dad, and old dad, or not a dad at all, this is the day we honor all the fathers in our lives. For one way or another, we all have fathers and know fathers.
As usual, I had to look up the history of this holiday so I could share it with you. From Wikipedia:
Father’s Day was inaugurated in the United States in the early 20th century to complement Mother’s Day in celebrating fatherhood and male parenting.
After the success obtained by Anna Jarvis with the promotion of Mother’s Day in the US, some wanted to create similar holidays for other family members, and Father’s Day was the choice most likely to succeed. There were other persons in the US who independently thought of “Father’s Day”, but the credit for the modern holiday is often given to Sonora Dodd, who was the driving force behind its establishment.
Father’s Day was founded in Spokane, Washington in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd. Its first celebration was in the Spokane YMCA on June 19, 1910. Her father, the Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who raised his six children there.
After hearing a sermon about Jarvis’ Mother’s Day in 1909, she told her pastor that fathers should have a similar holiday honoring them. Although she initially suggested June 5, her father’s birthday, the pastors did not have enough time to prepare their sermons, and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday of June.
Father’s Day was not an instant success, and Ms. Dodd stopped promoting it while attending the Art Institute of Chicago. In the 1930’s she was back to promoting Father’s Day, and found help from trade groups that would benefit from the sale of Father’s Day gifts.
A bill to accord national recognition of the holiday was introduced in Congress in 1913. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson went to Spokane to speak in a Father’s Day celebration and wanted to make it official, but Congress resisted, fearing that it would become commercialized.
US President Calvin Coolidge recommended in 1924 that the day be observed by the nation, but stopped short of issuing a national proclamation. Two earlier attempts to formally recognize the holiday had been defeated by Congress.
In 1957, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote a proposal accusing Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers, thus “[singling] out just one of our two parents”. In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972. (Wikipedia)
Many of us grow up knowing how special a father’s love is from the very beginning. Others start to figure it out when they become parents themselves. And some don’t figure that out until the roles are reversed and they become the parent to their fathers.
Whatever your experience, may you celebrate the role of fatherhood in our lives. Happy Father’s Day!