History of Fathers Day

By: Anne Harvester

Giving personalized Father's Day gifts is a thoughtful way to show your father that you care. You could surprise him with a Father's Day gift basket that is filled with all of his favorites. This year find the perfect Father's Day gift in a gift basket customized just for him. For any special man in your life, whether it is your Dad, or your brother or husband who is a father, you will want to remember him on this day that is set aside to honor all that he does for his family.

Although Father's Day is celebrated on different days and months of the year depending on which country you are in, in the United States Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June every year. The first time the holiday was celebrated was on July 5th, however, in 1908, as the theme for a church service in Fairmont, West Virginia. A year earlier there had been a mine explosion that had killed 361 men, many of whom were fathers, and so a special service topic was employed. Mother's Day had begun to be celebrated in nearby Grafton, West Virginia, also in 1908, and this new holiday might also have been an inspiration for a Father's Day.

The first time Father's Day was held in the month of June was due to the efforts of Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd, from Washington State. Her Civil War veteran father, William Jackson Smart, had raised his six children as a single parent after his wife and their mother had died. Inspired by Anna Jarvis, the instigator of Mother's Day, Mrs. Dodd held the first Father's Day in June, the month her father had died, on June 19, 1910 in Spokane, Washington.

Politically speaking, it took quite a few years before Father's Day became an official national holiday. Presidents Woodrow Wilson celebrated the occasion with his family in 1916, and Calvin Coolidge made a recommendation that it become a national holiday in 1924. Father's Day was made into a holiday that would occur on the third Sunday of June by Lyndon Johnson, and it was finally recognized as an official holiday by Richard Nixon in 1972.

Fatherhood
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