History of Father’s Day

History of Father’s Day

Fathers are important to everyone. In that vein, Father’s Day is also an important holiday. A chance to show appreciation for the parent that helped bring you up is a crucial thing. But who decided the form and time of this holiday?

History indicates that days celebrating fathers have been common throughout time, all the way back to Babylon. Yet, unconnected to those, the current form of the holiday came to be in 1910. Sonora Dodd, daughter of a Civil War veteran who raised six children alone, thought that, in response to Mother’s Day, only a couple years old at the time, fathers need a day of recognition as well.

However, this holiday would take a long time to take root. Although a bill to make it a holiday was introduced to the US Government as early as 1913, and Woodrow Wilson spoke at a celebration in 1916, there was no movement towards recognizing it. Dodd spent the next few decades working to gain recognition for the idea. However, the early attempts ended up, more often than not, derided as a poor copy of Mother’s Day, and a blatant attempt at commercializing a day for sales of “neckties and fishing tackle.”

It wasn’t until Lyndon Johnson that there was an official recognition of the holiday, in 1966. Six years later, Richard Nixon made it official by signing it into law at the third Sunday in June. The holiday is primarily a gift giving day, with children and family members getting gifts or cards for their fathers. It is often noted to have a lower number of participants than Mother’s Day, theorized to be both because of a perceived greater role of mothers in the household, and because of the 58 year head start as an official holiday the latter has.

So if you feel that your father (or perhaps you as a father) doesn’t get enough recognition, then don’t forget the third Sunday in June, and let him know how you care.

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