Fathers Day: A History
It is that time again where Father’s Day is just around the corner. Much like Mother’s Day, this day honors fathers from across the globe. It honors the parental bond that some children have with their mom’s and dad’s. This day also honors the influence that fathers bring to society as well as fatherhood in itself. In fact, Father’s Day did not become fully recognized as an official holiday until Mother’s Day did. The history of Father’s Day could be seen as a bit of struggle because of how unappealing it was, at first, to many people in the past.
In the year 1910 on July 19, it was said that the Governor of Washington state declared the first ‘Father’s Day’. The day of celebration for fathers did not meet the same height of enthusiasm as mother’s day because supposedly a father did not have an equal amount of sentimental value. It was not until July 5, 1908 in a West Virginia church that the very first celebrated, sponsored event for fathers took place. The sermon that very day was held and centered on the 362 fallen men that lost their lives in explosions that took place in the Fairmount Coal Company mines. This event, however, was only a one day thing and not the annual holiday that many know of today.
A woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd had her place in the history of father’s day. As one of six children raised by a widow, she tried to create a day that would be an official day just like mother’s day for the counterparts to female parents. She wished to create this day in honor of her farther. It was said that Dodd went all over to places such as churches and the YMCA to gather some type of support for this thought. She was met with success as Washington then celebrated Father’s Day as a national holiday. However, despite Dodd’s effort and success of obtaining the male version of Mother’s Day, many men were seen to not partake in such a thing as they felt it somehow toned down their manliness with gift giving. In fact, most men back in that time scoffed at the very existence of the holiday.
Father’s Day took its place in history in 1966. President Lyndon Johnson made Father’s Day into the national holiday that is now as popular as Mother’s Day. Today, the holiday is met with an equal amount of love and affection, gift-giving, and bonding as seen on Mother’s Day. This day is the one of the largest card sending days of the year where about 87 million cards are given. Most of these cards come from the wives and daughters of the families. Sons are sometimes seen fishing with their fathers on this day. Other activities involve barbecues and family bonding.
The importance of Father’s Day from back in history to the present day is to help bring acknowledgement to the roles that father’s play within society and in families. The celebration, much like Mother’s Day, also gives children the opportunity to show just how much they love and respect their fathers. This is said to assist with strengthening the initial bond shared by father and child. Father’s Day is just around the corner now. The celebration and the honoring of those dads still here or that have passed away will be felt by many around the globe.
By Isis E. Stevens