History of Father’s Day

The history of Father’s Day

Marked on the third Sunday of June in the United States (and in many other countries), Father’s Day was first celebrated in 1910 to complement Mother’s Day. According to Wikipedia, the day was created by Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Wash., who wanted to honor her father, Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart.

Although Dodd originally suggested her father’s birthday in early June, she had not provided organizers with enough time to arrange the event – and the celebration was delayed until the third Sunday of the month.

Although Mother’s Day has been an official national holiday since 1914, Father’s Day had a tougher road. Congress refused to make the celebration official in the years immediately following Dodd’s first observance, fearing that the day would become commercialized. (Some would say those fears were well-founded; the creator of Mother’s Day later came to regret the commercialization of that holiday.)

It wasn’t until 1966 that Father’s Day received an official proclamation, thanks to President Lyndon B. Johnson. And six years later, President Richard Nixon signed a law making the day a national holiday.

Facts and figures (from government website USA.gov)

  • There are an estimated 70.1 million fathers across the nation
  • An estimated 1.7 million men are single fathers
  • Approximately 176,000 fathers are stay-at-home dads

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