Here's wishing a very Happy Father's Day to all of our fathers!
I'm always intrigued by the history of these "modern" holidays. Who knew it took so long to have Father's Day officially recognized? Today it seems like there is a day, week, month, and year of everything. But our parents and grandparents generation didn't take this type of thing so lightly.
Below is a summary of a Wikipedia article on the history of Father's Day. After you've checked out the history, why not take a minute and post a comment on this article describing one of your favorie moments in history with your dad?
After Anna Jarvis created Mother's Day in the US, others wanted to create similar holidays for other family members, and Father's Day was the most likley choice. The credit for the modern holiday is usually given to Sonora Dodd, who was the driving force behind it.
Father's Day was founded in Spokane, Washington at the YMCA in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd. Its first celebration was in the Spokane YMCA on June 19, 1910. Her father, Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who raised his six children there. After hearing a sermon about Mother's Day in 1909, Ms. Dodd told her pastor that fathers should have a similar holiday in their honor. She initially recommended June 5, her father's birthday, but the ministers did not have enough time to prepare their sermons, and the celebration was delayed to the third Sunday of June.
It did not have much success initially. In the 1930s Ms. Dodd returned to Spokane and started promoting the celebration again, raising awareness at a national level. She had the help of trade groups that would benefit most from the holiday, for example the manufacturers of ties and tobacco pipes. Many Americans resisted the holiday during a few decades, perceiving it as just an attempt by merchants to replicate the commercial success of Mother's Day. But trade groups did not give up: they kept promoting it and even incorporated public jokes about the holiday into their advertisements. They eventually succeeded in creating the holiday, though.
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 celebrationand wanted to make it official, but Congress resisted, fearing that it would become too commercialized. President Calvin Coolidge recommended in 1924 that the day be observed by the nation, but stopped short of issuing a presidential 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.