History of Father’s Day

Father’s Day is June 15, 2014 in many countries so in honor of dear old dad, we look into the history of Father’s Day. It is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. Many countries celebrate it on the third Sunday of June, but it is also celebrated widely on other days. Father’s Day was created to complement Mother’s Day, a celebration that honors mothers and motherhood. Hopefully by understanding why the concept of Father’s Day was created, we can better celebrate and honor the fathers who raised us.

Father’s Day Festival has gained amazing popularity over the years. The festival is considered to be a secular one and is celebrated not just in US but in a large number of countries around the world including Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Norway and India though on different dates. People all over the world take Father’s Day as an opportunity to thank father and pay tribute to them. On this day children present Father’s Day cards not just to their dads but also grandfathers, uncles, stepfathers or any other person who commands the position of a father in their life. There is also a trend to present Father’s Day gift to dad, most popular of all being necktie while. Other popular gifts are roses, the official Father’s Day flower. Although there are many people who rue that the trend of presenting gifts to fathers has led to over commercialization of the festival relegating the noble idea behind Father’s Day celebration.

It originated in America via the father William Smart, a veteran of the Civil War, who was left a widower when his wife died while giving birth to their sixth child. He went on to raise the six children by himself on their small farm in Washington. To show her appreciation for all the hard work and love William gave to her and her siblings, his daughter Sonora thought there should be a day to pay homage to him and other dads like him. She initially suggested June 5th, the anniversary of her father’s death to be the designated day to celebrate Father’s Day, but due to some bad planning, the celebration in Spokane, Washington was deferred to the Third Sunday in June.

The other story of the first Father’s Day in America happened all the way on the other side of the country in Fairmont, West Virginia on July 5, 1908. Grace Golden Clayton suggested to the minister of the local Methodist church that they hold services to celebrate fathers after a deadly mine explosion killed 361 men.

While Father’s Day was celebrated locally in several communities across the country, unofficial support to make the celebration a national holiday began almost immediately. William Jennings Bryant was one of its staunchest proponents. Looking at the heightened popularity of Father’s Day in US, President Woodrow Wilson approved of this idea in 1916. President Calvin Coolidge too supported the idea of a national Father’s Day in 1924 to, “establish more intimate relations between fathers and their children and to impress upon fathers the full measure of their obligations”. After a protracted struggle of over four decades, President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day in 1966. Then in 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father’s Day to be held on the third Sunday of June. Sonora Smart Dodd was honored for her contribution at the World’s Fair in Spokane in 1974. Mrs. Dodd died in 1978 at age 96.

There are several theories behind the origination of Father’s Day. Some believe that the first Father’s Day church service was held in West Virginia in 1908. Others opine that the ceremony was first held in Vancouver, Washington. The president of Lions’ Club, Chicago, Harry Meek is said to have celebrated the first Father’s Day with his organization in 1915 to stress on the need to honor fathers. He selected third Sunday in June for celebration, the closest date to Meek’s own birthday. In appreciation for Meek’s work, the Lions Clubs of America presented him with a gold watch, with the inscription “Originator of Father’s Day,” on his birthday, June 20, 1920. Some historians honor Mrs. Charles Clayton of West Virginia, as the Founder of Father’s Day. In countries where Catholic Church holds greater influence Father’s Day is celebrated on St. Joseph’s Day (March 19). Other countries also picked up on the idea of Father’s Day. While many followed suit by celebrating it on the third Sunday in June, some decided to honor dad on different dates. So, to make sure you know when to pay your respects to dear old dad wherever you may be, here’s a list of the dates 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

 

~Father’s Day Facts~

How Many Fathers?

70.1 million

Estimated number of fathers across the nation:

24.8 million

The number of hardware stores, a place to buy hammers, wrenches, screwdrivers and other items high on the list of Father’s Day gifts:

15,542

However if a trip to the local hardware store isn’t a fit for your Father’s Day gift plans, here are a few great gift suggestions that can be personalized by American Stationery in honor of your Dad:

Photo Mouse Pad (2843) Place your favorite photo on our new Mouse Pad and put an endless smile on your face as you surf the web! Photo Mouse Pad measures 9″ x 7 1/2″.

Integrity Small Board (9734) Ideal size board to have handy on the counter top or for keeping as a garlic and onion board. Excellent as a bar board and always welcome as a hostess or house gift. Made of Yellow Birth with Walnut accents. Size: 10” x 6” x 3/4”

There are two stories of when the first Father’s Day was celebrated. According to some accounts, the first Father’s Day was celebrated in Washington state on June 19, 1910. A woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd came up with the idea of honoring and celebrating her father while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon at church in 1909. She felt as though mothers were getting all the acclaim while fathers were equally deserving of a day of praise.

Silver Sheaffer Pen – Personalized (2792P) This Silver Sheaffer® ball point pen is sure to please as a gift for that special someone. Size: 5 1/2” long Ink Color: Blue

Steel Flask – With Monogram (2872M) Our new collection of gift items features new patterns, bright colors and something for everyone on your list.  From the kitchen to home office to school locker to personal electronic devices, you can mix or match to create either a uniform look or coordinating look.Size: 3.3″ x 4.1″, 7 ounces

Ceramic Mug – With Monogram (2871M) Our new collection of gift items features new patterns, bright colors and something for everyone on your list.  From the kitchen to home office to school locker to personal electronic devices, you can mix or match to create either a uniform look or coordinating look. Size: 3.3″ x 4.1″, 7 ounces

Natural Wood Frame – Style 1, Vertical (2813_1V) Keep your special memories on display with our Natural Wood Frames.  Each frame is available laser engraved in different ways to celebrate your life.  Frames hold a 4″ x 6″ photo.  Features an easel back for table top display or may be hung.  Size: 7″ x 9″

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