Father's Day

Samara Scott on Jun 12, 2024 1:55:32 PM

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June 16th is Father's Day, a well-earned holiday to honor the father figures in our lives. Only becoming an official holiday in 1972, the history behind the day is quite surprising.

The first recorded instance of a Father's Day celebration happened on July 5th, 1908, in Fairmont, Virginia. After a horrific mining accident, nearly 1000 children were left fatherless. A woman named Grace Clayton decided to hold a Sunday service for all the fathers who had lost their lives in the mining accident. This service was the first known to honor fathers. But this wouldn't become an annual tradition until much later.

Over a year later, a woman named Sonora Dodd would try to establish an official Father's Day. She went to local churches, shopkeepers, and government officials and established the first statewide Father's Day on June 19th, 1910. 

From here, the idea of Father's Day would slowly spread. But it wouldn't be without backlash. Many men scoffed at the idea of the attempt to "domesticate manliness with flowers and gift giving."

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, a movement would arise to eliminate Mother's Day in favor of a "Parent's Day." Every Mother's Day, pro-Parent's Day groups would rally inside Central Park, arguing that parents should be honored and respected together. Their efforts would become overshadowed by the arrival of the Great Depression.

Retailers began advertising Father's Day as a second Christmas for men by promoting men's clothing, pipes and tobacco, sporting goods, and cards. After World War II began, retailers began arguing Father's Day would be a great way to honor the troops and support the war effort. Although Father's Day wasn't a federal holiday yet, it became a national celebration.

In 1972, Richard Nixon signed a proclamation declaring Father's Day as a federal Holiday. To this day, we still celebrate Father's Day on the 3rd Sunday of June every year. Make sure you take the time to let your fathers and father figures know how much you appreciate them.






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