Every year on the third Sunday in June, people across the United States and beyond will celebrate Father’s Day. Although the holiday was made official only a few decades ago, the history of its origin dates back to the early 20th century. Let’s take a brief look at how this special day came to be.
The core of what would become the modern Father’s Day celebration was planted in the early 20th century. But not in the simplest way.
The first example of a Father’s Day celebration in the United States took place in the early 20th century. In 1907, a deadly explosion at the Fairmont Coal Company mine in Mononhag, Virginia, claimed the lives of hundreds of workers. In an effort to celebrate all the parents lost in the accident, Grace Golden Clayton and her minister Robert Thomas Webb held a memorial service in their honor the following year, on July 5, 1908.
Though the participants didn’t realize it at the time, that’s the first time Father’s Day has been celebrated in the US The event was supposed to be a one-time deal, involving only the families of the victims. Even then, however, the event was largely overshadowed by the 4th of July celebrations and other local events.
However, there was certainly something in the air at the time, which pushed people to promote the holidays in honor of their elders. Anna Jarvis was already campaigning to establish Mother’s Day as a national holiday, gradually gaining popularity across the country. It was in his 1909 sermon that a young Sonora Louise Smart Dodd from Spokane, Washington, had the idea to request an official Father’s Day celebration.
Part of the inspiration behind that decision was his own father. After his mother died giving birth to the youngest of his five siblings, his father was left alone to raise the six children.
Although he struggled to gain full public support, he managed to convince the local churches and the YMCA to hold the celebrations on a specific Sunday each June. His initial proposal was on June 5, his father’s birthday. However, due to the proximity of Mother’s Day and the minister not having enough time to prepare a sermon, they decided to set the third Sunday in June as the official date.
So, on June 19, 1910, Washington observed the first state celebration of Father’s Day in the entire country. Roses were designated as the official flower: red for parents who were still alive and white for those who had passed away.
However, despite this initial victory, Dodd encountered many obstacles in his decades-long mission to have Father’s Day recognized as a federal holiday. For years, the nation saw a widespread movement against Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in favor of a joint celebration of Father’s Day.
However, the idea was unsuccessful. Ironically, however, many men still opposed the celebration of Father’s Day. Some saw it as another pointless commercial holiday, while others saw it as a castration. However, over the years, the holiday became more celebrated and today there are few objections to the practice.
We celebrate Father’s Day every year thanks to Dodd’s resistance. After a 60-year struggle, his campaign finally came to an end when President Nixon enacted the national holiday in 1972.
This special day is celebrated in many countries, although not all on the same day. Most, including the US, Canada, and the UK, celebrate Father’s Day on the third Sunday in June.
Traditionally Catholic nations, such as Italy, Spain, and most of South America, celebrate it on Saint Joseph’s Day, March 19. In Australia and Fiji, it is celebrated on the first Sunday in September. In Taiwan, however, Father’s Day is celebrated on August 8, as the word “eight” in Mandarin sounds similar to the word “dad.”
And hey, if you’re looking for a last minute Father’s Day gift, why not? spend some time working together on a project? Alternatively, you may want to surprise him with a subscription box or a pleasant experience that he will always remember.