Happy Father’s Day, Everyone!
While this day seems like the obvious counterpart to Mother’s Day, Father’s Day was not as welcome when the idea of the day was first presented. While Mother’s Day was graciously accepted by all mothers, many fathers rejected a day for them, displeased with its celebration of a domesticated male figure being gifted with flowers and other frilly things.
As I had stated in my post last month on Mother’s Day, “Dads are great too, but I think the bond and connection between mother and child is first and foremost.” I stand by this statement and I think most fathers would too which is what’s so cool about Dear ol’ Dad—he knows his place.
The beginnings of Father’s Day were started by Ms. Sonora Smart Dodd from Spokane in an attempt to create an equivalent to Mother’s Day for male parents. One of six kids, Sonora and her siblings lost their mother early on and were raised by their father, so this day was very important to her. In 1910, she had received enough support that a statewide celebration of Father’s Day was recognized.
The day’s celebration spread after that and in six years, the day was even honored by President Wilson, as he unfurled a flag in Spokane with the push of a button in Washington D.C. But it wasn’t until nearly 15 years later that each state government was urged by President Calvin Coolidge to observe Father’s Day despite many men’s irritation.
The holiday still had one more challenge to hurdle before it reached its current recognition. Father’s Day had pretty much plateaued in popularity on a national level with many dads responding unfavorably. A movement that lasted from the 20’s to the 30’s tried to get rid of Mother’s Day AND Father’s Day entirely in order to just make one, unified, Parents’ Day.
Parents’ Day was fought for with the rationale that both parents should be respected and admired equally. The Great Depression, however, stepped in around the same time and put an end to hopes for a Parents’ Day. Retailers did everything they could to promote “manly” gifts like greeting cards, neckties, hats, socks, golf clubs, and other sports gear.
With practical gifts like these, fathers across the country eventually came around with a day made to honor them. And so, in 1972 (nearly 60 years after Mother’s Day was made official), President Richard Nixon finally made Father’s Day a federal holiday.
So may I say to all fathers and to those who love him, happy Father’s Day! And thanks for reading.