This year, Father’s Day will be celebrated on June 21st. Here’s a little history behind Father’s Day.

History

fathersday.jpgFather’s Day is a celebration inaugurated in the early twentieth century to complement Mother’s Day in celebrating fatherhood and male parenting, and to honor and commemorate fathers and forefathers. Father’s Day is celebrated on a variety of dates worldwide and typically involves gift-giving, and special dinners to fathers and family-oriented activities. In 2008, it was celebrated on June 15 in many countries. In 2009, it will be celebrated on June 21 in many countries.

The first observance of Father’s Day is believed to have been held on July 5, 1908 in a church located in Fairmont, West Virginia, by Dr. Robert Webb of West Virginia at the Central United Methodist Church of Fairmont.[1]

Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd of Washington thought independently of the holiday one Sunday in 1909 while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon at the Central Methodist Episcopal Church at Spokane,[2] and she arranged a tribute for her father in June 19, 1910. She was the first to solicit the idea of having an official Father’s Day observance to honor all fathers.

It took many years to make the holiday official. In spite of support from the YWCA, the YMCA and churches, it ran the risk of disappearing from the calendar.[3] Where Mother’s Day was met with enthusiasm, Father’s Day was met with laughter.[3] The holiday was gathering attention slowly, but the wrong reasons: it was the target of much satire, parody and derision, including jokes from the local newspaper Spokesman-Review.[3] Many people saw it as just the first step in filling the calendar with mindless promotions like “Grandparents’ Day”, “Professional Secretaries’ Day”, etc. all the way down to “National Clean Your Desk Day”.[3]

A bill was introduced in 1913,[4] US President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea in 1924,[citation needed] and a national committee was formed in the 1930s by trade groups in order to legitimize the holiday.[5]

In addition to Father’s Day, International Men’s Day is celebrated in many countries, most often on November 19.

Any man can be a father, but it takes a special person to be a dad. ~ Proverbs

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