Father, Daddy, Dad, Papa, Pop…Sunday is HIS Day!
“They say that from the instant he lays eyes on her, a father adores his daughter. Whoever she grows up to be, she is always to him that little girl in pigtails. She makes him feel like Christmas. In exchange, he makes a secret promise not to see the awkwardness of her teenage years, the mistakes she makes or the secrets she keeps.”
The dominant role and influence of the “father figure” throughout human history is undeniable. But it’s the influence of our own father, as with our own mother, that is indelibly and forever impressed in our heart, isn’t it?
Since celebrating Mother’s Day became so successful, it seemed logical that having a national Father’s Day would be a natural and perfect complement, but getting it to be a permanent national holiday was no slam dunk!
Sonora Louise Smart Dodd is credited as being the “Mother of Father’s Day”. Hearing of Anna Jarvis’ success with Mother’s Day, in 1910 she initiated her campaign to celebrate Father’s Day in honor of her widower father, a Civil War vet, who raised six children single handed. She encouraged the local pastor to give a sermon honoring fathers and her efforts resulted in Washington State celebrating the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day on June 19, 1910.
In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson went to Spokane to speak in a Father’s Day celebration and hoped to make it official as he had with Mother’s Day in 1914, but was unsuccessful. Congress continued to resist and there were even efforts to eliminate both Mother’s and Father’s Day in favor of a Parents’ Day. The celebration sputtered until Dodd renewed her efforts and resumed promoting the celebration. She cleverly enlisted the support of trade groups that would benefit from a national holiday (e.g., companies that would make presents for fathers). There was some criticism that the efforts were for purely commercial purposes, but the trade groups persisted. However, it would still take several more decades to make it a permanent national holiday.
In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Sonora did live to see it signed into law in 1972 by President Richard Nixon and was honored as the founder of Father’s Day at the 1974 World’s Fair Expo in Spokane, WA and died four years later at the age of 96.
Today, Father’s Day, known as “International Men’s Day” in some countries, is celebrated on various dates all over the world. It is estimated that Americans spend over a billion dollars on Father’s Day gifts.
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What is your fondest memory of your Father? Please share below…