Jun 9, 2010
History of Father's Day
Ma Without Pa?
Can you imagine salt without pepper, peanut butter without jelly, Bert without Ernie? Well years ago we had Mother's Day but no Father's Day. In fact people scoffed at the idea when it was first presented. They thought of it as a joke, as a step towards filling the calendar with mindless promotions. Mindless promotion - Father's Day?! Mom's are truly awesome, and most certainly deserve their special day, but dad's are pretty spiffy too, and equally deserve a day of recognition.
How Father's Day Came to Be
On Mother's Day Sunday in 1909, twenty-seven year old Sonora Smart Dodd sat in church listening to a Mother's Day sermon. As she listened she began to think about her beloved Father, William Jackson Smart, who had raised her and her five brothers after her mother died giving birth to the youngest boy. Sonora held her father, a civil war veteran, in high esteem and felt that there should be a special day set apart to recognize wonderful Father's like him.
Sonora Dodd was the first to solicit the idea of having an official Father's Day observance to honor all Father's. She approached the Spokane Ministerial Alliance to ask for their help in establishing the holiday and suggested holding the observance on her father's birthday, June 5. The Alliance felt it was an idea worthy of their attention and decided to assist Mrs. Dodd with it's establishment, although they choose the third Sunday in June as the day of celebration. (They felt there wasn't enough time before her father's birthdate to make sufficient preparations.) And thus Father's Day was born on June 19, 1910.
They Took Their Sweet Time in Making it Official
As I said before, many people ridiculed the idea of a Father's Day, including the local newspaper which printed jokes about it. In spite of support from churches and the local YWCA and YMCA, the holiday was in danger of dying away.
In 1913, a bill was introduced to Congress in hopes that they would declare Father's Day a national holiday. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson declared his support of the holiday and urged congress to make it official, but Congress resisted, fearing that it would become too commercialized. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge also pledged his support but fell short of issuing a national proclamation. Thirty-three years later in 1957, Maine Senator, Margaret Chase Smith wrote a proposal accusing Congress of ignoring father's for 40 years while honoring mother's, thus "singling out just one of our two parents." In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson issued the first proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard M. Nixon signed it into law in 1972.
A Day to Celebrate Fatherhood
Fathers are an important part of a child's life. Mother's may be the main nurturing influence for a child, but a loving father can form an unpenetrable bond between he and his child with a little bit of effort. And lucky is the child who knows, without a doubt, his/her father loves them.
Father's Day is a day to honor our fathers, stepfather's, grandfather's and father figures for the roles they have played in our lives. So many times our father's go unrecognized for the daily work and sacrifices they make for their families. I hope on this Father's Day we can remember all the good things our Father's have done for us, and let them know they are appreciated. May everyone have the most pleasantest of days this Father's Day.
Image: Father Knows Best