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In the United States, Father’s Day takes place each year on the third Sunday in June. This year the holiday falls on June 17th and the date is approaching fast! Much like Mother’s Day, it’s a day to honor and show respect for someone who contributes their life to parenting and family.

After the creation of Mother’s day, somebody probably thought “hey, what about those hardworking men out there?” That’s right, dads play just as important of a role as moms, so don’t they deserve a day too? Well it only took 58 years after Mother’s day was created to make Father’s day an official nationwide holiday, but it’s here to stay! Father’s day celebrates paternity, and the important influence of fathers and father figures in society. Father figures can include fathers, step-fathers, father-in-laws, grandfathers, big brothers, and any other male relatives who may have made a positive impact or have provided guidance in a child’s life.

Father’s day was inspired by a couple different events. In December of 1907 there was a tragic incident in Monongah, WV known as the Monongah Mining Disaster. An explosion in two of the Fairmont Coal Company’s mines resulted in the deaths of 362 people, of which approximately 250 were working fathers. The following year, Mrs. Grace Clayton organized a memorial service at a church in West Virginia for the men; this was noted as the first event honoring fathers. However, this was a one time commemoration and did not continue annually.

The official Father’s day that we know today owes its credit to a woman from Spokane, Washington named Sonora Smart Dodd. She was inspired by Anna Jarvis, an influential figure in the creation of Mother’s day. Dodd’s father, a Civil War Veteran, raised her and her five siblings on his own, which was uncommon for the times. After he died, she believed he deserved recognition, among many other fathers out there, so she helped establish and push for an official Father’s day. In 1910, Dodd went around to local shops, churches and government officials to try to gain support for her idea of Father’s day and she was successful. That same year, Washington State celebrated the first statewide Father’s day on July 19th, just fifteen miles away from where the first Mother’s day celebration occurred.

Throughout the years, there were also many attempts by political figures to make Father’s day a holiday. In 1916 president Wilson tried but congress resisted, in 1924 president Coolidge recommended it but was stopped before finalizing, and in 1966 president Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers. However, the day wasn’t made a permanent national holiday until 1972 when President Nixon signed it into law. Despite the delay, Father’s day quickly gained support and recognition and caught up to Mother’s day, being equally important. During the 20s and 30s there was talk about combining Mother’s day and Father’s day into one holiday, called Parents’ day, but this obviously was never finalized. Other countries celebrate father’s day as well; however, the official date varies from country to country.

Now let’s talk about the fun part... how to celebrate Father’s day! Gratitude and appreciation is shown to dad’s by giving presents, doing nice gestures, or simply by letting the men know how much they mean to us. Gift ideas include clothing, electronics’, tools, gift cards or anything else to do with ‘manly’ activities. Besides giving presents, it’s easy to spend some time with dad doing the things he loves! Bring him to his favorite sporting event, car show or restaurant. Strapped for cash? Make him his favorite dinner, wash his car or go fishing! Since it is June, you have no excuse not to go out side and just hang out... he’ll love it.

The best things about dads is that they’re filled with advice, some of it good and some… well, memorable. Here’s some words of wisdom that my dad says. Can you relate?

-“When I was your age…”

-“Don’t make me turn this car around!”

-“I had to walk to school barefoot. In the snow. Uphill, both ways.”

-“As long as you live under my roof, you’ll follow my rules.”

Fun Facts

– There are about 70.1 million fathers across the nation.

– Economists estimate that Americans spend over one billion dollars each year on Father’s Day.


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