Since I wrote about Mother’s Day this year I thought I should give some notice to Father’s Day coming up on June 18, 2017. Father’s Day was thought up in the 20th Century after Mother’s Day was started. Father’s Day is always on the 3rd Sunday in June. Do we see a pattern? Yes we do!
Father’s Day was founded by Sonora Dodd while in Spokane Washington at the YMCA in 1910. The first celebration was for her Father, William Jackson Smart, who raised her and five other children in Arkansas. He was a Civil War Veteran and he raised them alone and she wanted to honor him in this way. She wanted Father’s Day to be on his birthday June 5, 1910, but the priest did not have enough time to write a sermon and postponed it till the third Sunday.
From 1910 to 1920’s Dodd did not have much luck to the promotion of Father’s Day. She moved to Chicago to go to the Art Institute of Chicago. In 1930 Dodd moved back to Spokane and started to promote the holiday again but this time with help. She had done her homework and got help from the trade groups and manufacturers who would benefit most from the holiday. In 1938 she had the help of the Father’s Day Council, founded by the NY Assoc. of Men’s Wear Retailers who kept at the promotion in the newspapers.
The newspapers began to run jokes and ridicule the idea of Father’s Day as just pure commercialism and people refused to give a day to honor Father’s. Soon the manufacturers and retailers started making jokes about Father’s Day too, as a way to incorporate the feelings and it worked. People were responding to the advertising.
Father’s Day had a sketchy time in Washington DC as well. A bill was sent through Congress in 1913 and 1916. President Wilson went to Spokane to speak at a Father’s Day celebration and wanted to make it official Congress resisted. President Coolidge asked for it in 1924 to be observed but not giving a national proclamation to it. In 1957 Senator from Maine Margaret Chase Smith wrote that Congress was ignoring Fathers for 40 years while honoring Mothers and singling out one of two parents. In 1966, Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first proclamation honoring fathers designating the 3rd Sunday in June as Father’s Day. In 1972 President Richard Nixon signed it into law.
Many countries have Father’s Day also, many celebrate it when we do but many have their own dates. Most of the time Father’s Day is not a legal holiday.
Germany has Father’s Day on Ascension Day, and is a Federal Holiday.
Many Catholic countries have Father’s Day on March 19, celebrated on Saint Joseph’s Day but not a public holiday.
So as you can see Fathers and Father’s Day has finally arrived!
We as children already knew that. Dads and daughters, Dads and sons have relationships that go from good, great and then tenuous and ugly. Some of us might have that all in one day!
Since I have been alive, ugh 59 years, Fathers’ roles have changed out tremendously. They have gone from the first day of giving out cigars or cigarettes where you could actually smoke them in the lobby of a hospital to the Fathers’ role of being on the front lines of giving birth. What do they pass out now? 1st day photos of the kid! When they are all red and squishy!
Fathers were the bread winners, the lawn guys, the do it yourselfer. They played ball with the boys taught them how to do things. Most of the time with girls they just said you are pretty and you are a cute ballerina. If you were lucky you got a dad who would teach you to ride your bike, teach you to catch a trout in a river and one like my dad who loved Astronomy as much as I did. He bought me a telescope and we spent hours looking up in the skies.
However, I did not learn Basketball or Football or Baseball from him. I am not bad at Basketball or Football thanks to High School and College but Baseball, darn it, I still throw like a girl!
Now, my father is 87 years old. We get along better than we ever did before. We talk to each other more like equals. We still talk about Astronomy but I have not taken out my telescope for about a year now. We do talk about our other passion which is History. He and I both read voraciously about what we love. He reads about ships, War ships, destroyers, submarines, aircraft carriers and all the battles from Civil War to present. I read from the Civil War backwards. With one exception, I asked him about his time in Korea, and wanted to know about some things. He said, “Here read this first. Then ask me.” My dad presented me with a book with a thousand pages in it all about the Korean War. I was already reading a book about Louis the XIV, so after that was done I read the book. Then we talked history of Korean War and I learned a lot more about what he did in the war daddy.
Now my Father loves the socks I give him for Father’s Day and Christmas and yes for His Birthday too. Socks are not all he gets but since I sell them he gets them!
Check out these socks for your Dad!