The Origin And History Of Father’s Day: A Holiday Born In The USA

Father’s Day is an American born holiday, officially celebrated on the third Sunday in June since 1966, after several American women demanded the holiday to celebrate the role of men in family life.

Around 100 years has passed since Sonora Dodd, from Washington, DC, heard a sermon about Mother’s Day and was inspired to start a movement of support for a similar day of celebration for men, especially fathers.

According to historical records, Sonora Dodd, the Mother of Father’s Day, was raised by her single father after her mother died.

“In 1909, Dodd heard a church sermon about Mother’s Day, which had recently become a recognized holiday, and she wondered why there was no Father’s Day. On June 6, 1910, Dodd suggested establishing such a holiday to the Spokane Ministerial Association and the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). The first Father’s Day was celebrated in Spokane on June 19, 1910.”

Others say it is Grace Golden Clayton, from Fairmont, West Virginia, who is the Mother of Father’s Day after she suggested a day celebrating fathers in 1908.

She wanted a way to honor fathers after a mine explosion in a nearby town killed more than 360 men. She presented the reasonable argument that children in the town needed a time to remember their fathers.

While American presidents unofficially supported the day, it was not until 1966 that Father’s Day was put on the country’s official calendar by President Lyndon Johnson. In 1972, it was made a permanent national holiday by President Nixon.

The move came after a campaign by a number of public figures, including Senator Margaret Chase Smith, who in 1957 wrote to congress.

“Either we honour both our parents, mother and father, or let us desist from honouring either one.”

“But to single out just one of our two parents and omit the other is the most grievous insult imaginable.”

Senator Margaret Chase Smith is also the author of a famous speech about freedom and what it means to be American, titled “The Declaration of Conscience.” Her speech was in response to the rise in unjust persecution of average American people organized by government that later became known as McCarthyism, and is also referred to as the American witch hunts of the 1950’s.

Canada is celebrating Father’s Day this year on June 21, which is also National Aboriginal Day in Canada.

According to the Telegraph, “UK fathers can expect, at best, a breakfast in bed and handmade card and, at worst, the day to be completely ignored.”

In Germany, Father’s Day is called Vatertag and is also known as Männertag, or Men’s Day. Germany celebrated Father’s Day 2015 on March 19 and Google published the following Google Doodle to celebrate fathers on that date.

If you are still looking for a Father’s Day gift idea, check out the recent Inquistr article, “Father’s Day 2015: Great Gift Ideas And Recipes To Please The Dad In Your Life” for unique and quirky gift ideas and a video of delicious grilling tips. If the special man in your life is more stylish than quirky, GQ offers 24 Father’s Day gift ideas for hip and stylish dads.

[Lead image credit Etsy on Pinterest]