Father’s Day is his Sunday, June 20, 2021! Ever wondered how it came to be?
In fact, there is some debate on where the idea for Father’s Day originated in the US. Some believe that it was in July 1908 in a West Virginia church. It was in a sermon in memory of 362 miners who had died in an explosion.
“The Mother of Father’s Day”
In the following year, a woman name Sonora Smart Dodd tried to establish Father’s Day. She is known as “The Mother of Father’s Day”. Her Mother had died when she was 16. As a result, her Father was left to raise her and 5 younger brothers. Inspired by her family situation, she proposed equal recognition for Fathers. She lobbied throughout Washington State and was successful in celebrating the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day on July 19, 1910.
Recognizing Father’s Day
In 1916 President Woodrow Wilson honored the day by using telegraph signals to unfurl a flag in Spokane. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge urged state governments to observe Father’s Day, however, many men were not in favor. During the 1920’s & 30’s, a movement rose to scrap both Mother’s Day & Father’s Day in favor of a single holiday – Parents’ Day. The Depression and struggling retailers derailed that effort and strived to make Father’s Day a “second Christmas” for men. When World War II began, advertisers argued that celebrating Father’s Day was a way to honor American troops and support the war effort. By the end of the war, Father’s Day was a national institution.
Federal Holiday Proclamation
In 1966 President Johnson signed a proclamation; the third Sunday in June will be recognized as Father’s Day. He requested flags be flown at all government buildings. In 1972, President Nixon signed a federal proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday.
From 4,000 years ago to present…
Scholars believe that we can trace the real origin of Father’s Day to the ruins of Babylon. A young boy named Elmesu carved a Father’s Day message on a card made out of clay nearly 4,000 years ago wishing his father good health and a long life.
Today over 50 countries around the world, from Antigua to Zimbabwe join in the Father’s Day celebrations. How do you celebrate Father’s Day? Let’s all cheer for Fathers!