History and Origin of Father’s Day

This coming Sunday (June 18th), Millions of families around the world will be celebrating the exceptional bond that exists between the children and their fathers. While other families will mark this day by having a quality time and enjoying great meals together, others will give out special gifts as well as cards.

But have you ever wondered why people around the world celebrate this day on every third Sunday of June? If you answered yes, then read on and find out its roots.

Where Father’s Day Came From

Even though Father’s Day is certainly a tradition of American, there are two tales that are usually used to explain its origin, and when the first celebration was held.

When did it begin?

Well, there are two theories that try to explain the origin of Father’s Day. First, one tail tells us that the day began when a lady from West Virginia by the name Grace Golden Clayton decided to campaign that a day should be set to celebrate male parent. Being an orphan, she missed the affection of her father, and she decided to lobby her fellow Methodist ministers to organize a church service for the purpose of honoring fathers. This church service took place in 1908, and according to some history sources, it was the first Father’s Day celebration.

It is widely believed that what inspired Grace Golden Clayton to celebrate fathers was the infamous Monongah mining tragedy, which happened in 1907 in West Virginia. The disaster is actually among the worst in the history of US mining. Precisely, it killed over 362 men.

The men who died left about 250 widows and at least 1,000 orphans. Mrs. Grace Clayton, who was among the orphaned children, wanted to pay attribute to all the dead fathers, among them her own.

The second account of the origin of Father’s Day explains that Sonora Smart Dodd, a woman from Arkansas, saw the need to celebrate fathers after she got inspired by her own father who successfully brought up his six children by himself after the death of his wife.

Sonora Smart Dodd attended the sermon for Mother’s Day, which was founded in 1905 when she felt that people need to celebrate fathers as well. She then decided to sell the idea to her fellow Methodists, especially the ministers, to organize a special sermon for the male parent.

Initially, Sonora made a suggestion to church leaders that the service for fathers should be organized on 5th Jun, her father’s anniversary. However, the celebration took place in Spokane on the third Sunday of June due to poor planning.

When Father’s Day Became a National Holiday

For many years, many communities across US celebrated Father’s Day locally because it was not made a national holiday immediately. Many prominent people, among them William Jennings Bryant, campaigned for official support for Father’s Day, and somewhere in 1924, the famous President Calvin made a suggestion that Father’s Day should be one of the National Holidays. However, it was not made official until in 1966 when Lyndon B. Johnson ordered that Father’s Day should be an official holiday celebrated on the Third Sunday of every June.

Nevertheless, this remained unofficial until when Nixon administration made an announcement in 1972 that Father’s Day be a national Holiday. After some years, many countries across the world subscribed to the idea of Father’s Day. Many of these countries followed suit, and started celebrating Father’s Day on every third Sunday of June.

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