Father’s Day was introduced in the United States as a counterpart of Mother’s Day that had been already introduced to appreciate and establish the role of the male parent in the parenting process.
The day upholds paternal bonds and the influence of the Pater in shaping the society. On this day people also honor other paternal males who may have touched their life in a significant way – teachers, mentors, extended family or relatives.
Background of Father’s Day:
- On July 5, 1908 in the town of Fairmont in the State of West Virginia a “Father’s Day” service was held in the request of Grace Golden Clayton who was then mourning the loss of her father who dies in December 1907 in the renowned Monongah Mining Disaster. The mishap killed hundreds of fathers and left many children fatherless. The service was held on a Sunday nearest to the birthday of Clayton’s deceased father.
- In 1911, Jane Adams came up with the idea of a city wide Father’s Day celebration in Chicago but was denied to do so.
- In 1912, there is a report of Father’s Day celebration in Vancouver, Washington.
- In 1915, Henry C. Meek, a member of the Lions Club International, made a claim that it was him who came up with the idea of introducing a Father’s Day. The Lions Club named him "Originator of Father's Day", and Meek made many efforts to promote this day to be a national holiday.
- Meanwhile in Spokane, Washington, in the year 1910, Father’s Day was introduced by Sonora Smart Dodd at the YMCA. The first celebrations were held on June 19, 1910. Dodd had initially suggested June 5th to be the date of celebration since it was her father’s birthday, but the date got postponed to the third Sunday of June due to organizational reasons. Dodd wanted to honor her father, a Civil War Veteran, who single handedly raised six children.
- Dodd’s efforts did not meet with much success initially, and her tenure in the Art Institute of Chicago made her campaign fade out in the oblivion even in her own hometown.
- In 1930s, after Dodd returned to Spokane, she started to promote the celebration again. This time her attempt to raise awareness to the national level was aided by those trade groups whose products catered to men and were considered to be traditional gift items for fathers or father figures.
- Father’s Day Council was founded in New York by the New York Associated Men's Wear Retailers, and together with the Dodd attempted to consolidate and organize the promotions from a commercial perspective.
- Although there existed a Bill since 1913 in favor of the day and was also recommended for national recognition in 1924, the idea was rejected in the fear of being too commercialized.
- In 1957 Senator Margaret Chase Smith from Maine brought up the topic again for debate and pointed out that if Mother’s Day could exist, so should Father’s Day, for it was wrong to single out and honor one out of two parents.
- In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson made a proclamation in the favor of making the third Sunday of June as Father's Day.
- Finally, in 1972, President Richard Nixon made the day a permanent national holiday by signing it into law.
Date of Father’s Day in the Next Five Years:
In United States, Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of the month of June, each year.
- In 2014, Father’s Day would be on Sunday, June 15.
- In 2015, Father’s Day would be on Sunday, June 21.
- In 2016, Father’s Day would be on Sunday, June 19.
- In 2017, Father’s Day would be on Sunday, June 18.
- In 2018, Father’s Day would be on Sunday, June 17.
Observances on Father’s Day:
Father’s Day upholds and honors the role of the male parent in the life and upbringing of a child, and also of the Father Figures who may have touched our lives as friends, mentors, teachers, relatives or extended family. Since Father’s Day celebration is a relatively new introduction in the list of merrymaking days, it is but obvious that most families do not have any long standing tradition or custom related to this event. However, the general idea is to show that you care and to express your appreciation. The expression of love could range from a simple phone call to an elaborate party. Giving greeting cards and gifts too is a common custom. Retailers come up with promotional sales on items like gadgets, clothing, tool kits, outdoor cooking accessories, sports goods etc to give you umpteen choices to pick from according to the taste of the person concerned and your pocket permit.