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Father's Day - Holiday Origins

Father's Day is a holiday created with the idea of honoring paternal bonds and fatherhood in general. As a US holiday, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June. In Europe’s Catholic countries, the holiday takes place on March 19th every year, regardless of the day of the week.

Dan the Dad with kids

When and why was Father's Day Created?

While there have been various iterations of Father's Day throughout human history, none of them managed to stick as a yearly event. The modern Father's Day was founded in Spokane, Washington. The event took place at the YMCA during 1910. Sonora Smart Dodd, born in Arkansas, wanted to appreciate her father—a Civil War veteran that managed to raise six children. She heard about Anna Jarvis and her Mother’s Day request, so she lobbied to create a similar holiday for Fathers.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson chose to honor the day with the use of telegraph signals that would unfurl the Spokane flag. In 1924, Calvin Coolidge, the president at the time, urged the state governments to consider observing Father's Day.

My dad

Little Initial Success

However, Father's Day still didn’t have much success in the beginning. During the 1920’s, Dodd had to stop promoting the celebration to focus her time on her studies. During that time, the celebrations faded, but they returned in the 1930’s when Dodd returned to Spokane. In 1938 she helped create the Father's Day Council alongside the Associated Men’s Wear Retailers.

Despite this, many Americans still resisted the holiday for at least a few decades. Many saw it as a way to replicate the commercial success of Mother’s Day, so it took a while for people to embrace the idea of Father's Day. It wasn’t until the mid 1980’s that it gained widespread recognition.

Father and Sons

Present Holiday

Father’s Day is now a federal holiday celebrated by many families throughout the US each year. It has become nearly as commercial as Mother’s Day, and retailers have found much success promoting deals for dads everywhere. But setting the commercial aspect aside, it’s truly a great way to celebrate Father’s and their contribution to families and society as a whole. Let’s face it, DADS ROCK!

Father with kidsDad and kidsFather and son

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