The History of Father’s Day

Father’s Day has become a recognized holiday in celebrating fathers. But to understand fathers day lets review some of the history of how Father’s day became an official holiday. To begin, Father’s day became a holiday in the early twentieth century to complement mother’s day in celebrating fatherhood and parenting. Father’s day is celebrated on a variety of dates worldwide and usually involves giving a gift, or family oriented activities.

 

The first observance of father’s day took place in Fairmont, West Virginia on July 5 1908. The day had been organized by Mrs. Grace Golden Clayton. She wanted to celebrate the lives of the 210 fathers who had been lost in the Monongah mining disaster several months earlier in Monongah, West Virginia. Unfortunately since West Virginia did not officially register the holiday the first recognized celebration was held two years later on June 19 1910 through the efforts of Sonora Smart Dodd from Spokane, Washington. After she had heard about the newly recognized mother’s day Dodd felt that fatherhood should also be recognized. Sonora also suggested her father’s birthday to be the recognized holiday, which was June 5th. Because her father had raised her and her six siblings on his own. Her father, William Jackson Smart, was a Civil War Veteran who raised them after their mother’s death.

 

It took many years to make the holiday official. Father’s day was not met with enthusiasm as mothers day was. Many people laughed at the thought of the holiday. Many people saw it as the first step in filling the calendar with mindless promotions. President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day in 1966. Six year later father’s day was made a permanent nation holiday when President Richard Nixon signed into law in 1972. In addition to Father’s Day, International Men’s Day is celebrated in many countries on November 19 for men and boys who are not fathers.

Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June in over 50 countries worldwide. Other countries also celebrate Father’s Day but on different days in the year. For example Australia and New Zealand celebrate Father’s day on the first Sunday of September.

 

In the present day Father’s Day has become a global symbol of expressing love and respect to one’s father. Sons and daughters all over the world make it a point to take some time off and meet their father on this day. Father’s day has religious as well as social origins. In the Roman Catholic tradition, it is celebrated on Saint Joseph’s Day. Saint Joseph’s day is marked to commemorate Saint Joseph who was the husband of Mary and foster father of Jesus.

 

In the social context father’s day as a national celebration can be credited to Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd who was mentioned previously. Now it has become traditional to give fathers gifts, or going to dinner, or simply spending family time with them.

 

Many people assumed that Father’s day was a result of commercial spin. That Father’s Day was invented by the card manufacturers to sell more cards and gifts. This is not true. Historian have recorded that there was a tradition to celebrate Father’s Day over 4,000 years ago, when a son carved a message on a clay card for his day.

 

However from the first actual recorded date from Spokane Washington, Father’s Day 2010 marks the 100th anniversary of the first Father’s Day celebration. This holiday took a lot of determination to become a recognized holiday in the U.S. and now has become a worldwide celebration.