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Do You Know How Father's Day Came To Be?

The origin and history of Father's Day and why it's important to celebrate good men.

The world relies on GREAT dads.

Father’s Day is just around the corner, so we want to take a moment to think about and be grateful for all of the incredible dads in our lives. This is an important day for Americans because we love to honor amazing fathers and recognize all the important ways they take care of and love us.

Go hug your dad - or someone who has been a father figure for you - and tell him Thank You.

The Origin of Fathers Day

Fathers day wasn't made into an official holiday until 1976. Though mothers day had been official since 1914, fathers day was not widely recognized for years to come.

There are two stories of “the First Father’s Day” that have been noted in history.

Monongah Mining Disaster Street Morgue
Monongah Mining Disaster

The first story happened on the 5th of June in 1908. Miss Grace Clayton organized a Sunday morning service in Fairview, West Virginia in honor of 362 Men who had died in a mining explosion the previous year. More than 200 of those men were fathers, leaving behind close to a thousand fatherless children.

The impact of this event sent shockwaves through the area. In the midst of recognition of the importance of fatherhood, it became the first instance of a celebration specifically for fathers that American history would document.

Around the same time as the mining accident, Mr. William Jackson Smart’s daughter, Sonora Smart Dodd, was at a mother's day service in Spokane, Washington in 1909. Everyone was celebrating their mother, but she wanted to honor her father, who was the only parent she had.

Sonora became a champion of spreading the idea of Father's Day, and she started to gather support. She tried proposing the idea to multiple government offices and organizations, and within a few months managed to bring the YMCA on board. She wanted June fifth to be Fathers Day since it was her father's birthday, however, the ministerial association of Washington and the YMCA agreed on setting the third Sunday of June as Father's Day, so that it wasn't too close to mothers day.

The following year, June 19th, 1910, Father's Day was officially celebrated for the first time.

When President Woodrow Wilson made mother's day a holiday in 1914, he presented the idea of Father's Day as being a federal holiday to congress as well- to no avail.

In 1924, president Calvin Coolidge suggested that governments observe Father's Day stating it will,

"establish more intimate relations between fathers and their children and to impress upon fathers the full measure of their obligations."

This added to the popularity of the idea, but Father's Day still wasn't an official holiday.

Commercialism Saves The Day

Fathers Day was celebrated in the Washington region to some extent, however, it didn't become as popular as it is today until people realized that it would be a commercial success.

During the great depression businesses were hurting, so they started promoting products like sporting goods, neckties, socks, and other items that men might want as potential fathers day gifts. Similarly, after the end of the second world war, advertisers started promoting fathers day as a way to honor the troops.

Officially Becoming a National Holiday

Finally, in 1972, President Richard Nixon signed the official proclamation that Father’s Day was to be celebrated as a federal holiday on the third Sunday of June.

Fathers Day is a day when we are able to appreciate and celebrate fatherhood, and the efforts fathers put in to show love to their children. Supporting fathers and being a father is so much more than just receiving and giving gifts. Good fathers are the backbone of this country, and we need more of them to raise the next generation with purpose.

Father’s Day is celebrated across the world!

  • March 14– Iran

  • March 19– Bolivia, Honduras, Italy, Lichtenstein, Portugal, Spain

  • May 8– South Korea

  • First Sunday in June– Lithuania

  • Second Sunday in June– Austria, Ecuador, Belgium

  • Third Sunday in June– Antigua, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Guyana, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Netherlands, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Saint Vincent, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Trinidad, Turkey, United Kingdom, Venezuela, Zimbabwe

  • June 17– El Salvador, Guatemala

  • June 23– Nicaragua, Poland, Uganda

  • Second Sunday in July– Uruguay

  • Last Sunday in July– Dominican Republic

  • Second Sunday in August– Brazil

  • August 8– Taiwan, China

  • August 24– Argentina

  • First Sunday in September– Australia, New Zealand

  • New Moon of September– Nepal

  • First Sunday in October– Luxembourg

  • Second Sunday in November– Estonia, Finland, Norway, Sweden

  • December 5– Thailand


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