June 18th, 2015
This Sunday, we in the U.S. will celebrate Father’s Day. It is the time of the stereotypical tie and barbecue for presents. So let’s dig deeper and see how this holiday was founded and some other cool facts about the day we honor dads.
Father’s Day was founded in 1910 in Spokane, Washington by Sonora Smart Dodd. It was first held on June 19, 1910 at the local YMCA. Sonora Dodd was one of six children raised alone by a Civil War veteran in Arkansas. During the Mother’s Day sermon, she stated that there should be a day honoring father’s. She originally wanted to celebrate the day on June 5th which was her father’s birthday, but there wasn’t enough time to prepare, and they pushed it off to the third Sunday.
It did not have much success initially. In the 1920s, Dodd stopped promoting the celebration because she was studying in the Art Institute of Chicago, and it faded into relative obscurity, even in Spokane. In the 1930s Dodd returned to Spokane and started promoting the celebration again, raising awareness at a national level. She had the help of those trade groups that would benefit most from the holiday, for example the manufacturers of ties, tobacco pipes, and any traditional present to fathers. Since 1938 she had the help of the Father’s Day Council, founded by the New York Associated Men’s Wear Retailers to consolidate and systematize the commercial promotion. 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, and newspapers frequently featured cynical and sarcastic attacks and jokes. But the trade groups did not give up: they kept promoting it and even incorporated the jokes into their adverts, and they eventually succeeded. By the mid 1980s the Father’s Council wrote that “(…) [Father’s Day] has become a ‘Second Christmas’ for all the men’s gift-oriented industries.”
Congress introduced a bill in 1913 but it didn’t pass. Attempts and protests abounded until 1966 when President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. It took six years until the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.
Some dads like to cook and others like to have dinner cooked for them. Just make sure you have a tall cool beverage since the weather is starting to heat up.
Here’s some recipes for you to check out (Dads…feel free to print out and leave lying around as big hints):
Father’s Day is the fifth most popular card-sending holiday, with an estimated $100 million in card sales. Husbands, grandfathers, uncles, sons and sons-in-law are honored as well as father.
Roses are the official flower for Father’s Day. A red rose is worn in the lapel if your father is living, a white rose if he is deceased.
Father’s Day is celebrated most places on the third Sunday in June, but not everywhere. In Spain and Portugal, for instance, fathers are honored on St. Joseph’s Day, March 19. In Australia, it’s the first Sunday in September.
Stay-at-home dads are becoming more common in America. These married fathers with children under 15 years old have remained out of the labor force for more than one year primarily so they can care for the family while their wives work outside the home. The dads seem to stay home more with younger children. Preschoolers claim 20 percent of fathers with employed wives who were the primary caregiver for their preschooler. In contrast, only 6 percent of fathers provided the most hours of care for their grade-school-aged child.
So give a big hug on Sunday (or a virtual one) to your dad or someone who’s been like a dad.
And if you are a dad, what was your favorite present? And what are you hoping to receive this year?