The most widely accepted reason for the way that the Father’s Day tradition began is that one woman had an idea to celebrate her dad’s efforts. Her name was Sonora Smart Dodd, and her father was William Jackson Smart. They lived in Washington State, and he was a single parent to six children after his wife died. Sonora got the idea to celebrate her father’s efforts while listening to a church sermon for Mother’s Day. It is unclear if Sonora wanted Father’s Day to be in June because that was when William Smart was born, or because he had died on June 5, and Sonora had wanted that to be the day that fathers were celebrated. Either way, she did not give the organizers enough time to prepare for the event, so it ended up being the third Sunday in June. The first Father’s Day was celebrated June 19, 1910.
Fathers throughout the years were given gifts and recognition on Father’s Day. A National Father’s Day committee was formed in New York in 1926. Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge (who wanted it to be a National holiday), Lyndon Johnson (who made it a holiday to be celebrated the third Sunday of the month of June), and Richard Nixon (who officially recognized Father’s Day as a holiday in 1972) were all celebrated by their families for Father’s Day.
It is worth mentioning that besides the United States, almost all other countries celebrate a form of Father’s Day or Parent’s Day. Different countries celebrate the day at different times of the year, but still parents everywhere are recognized.
Father’s Day throughout the years has not been such a big holiday hit for some reason. Some people feel that it was kind of thrown in just because of Mother’s Day.
Retailers say that Father’s Day is not as big of a spending holiday as Mother’s Day, and cards and gifts are more of a last minute thing. This seems a little unfair and sad. It may not always have taken two parents to raise us, but there is no denying that without a mom and a dad, we wouldn’t be here today.
Though the holiday is not that old, without all of the commercialism and hype, it may not be that popular. It is up to us as individuals to make our own traditions on Father’s Day and follow through with them each year. We all have parents, and if we can look back and say “I know my dad did the best he could” then show him a little gratitude on that third Sunday in June and wish him a Happy Father’s Day.
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