How Father’s Day Became a National Holiday
Most historians agree that Spokane, Washington is the birthplace of Father’s Day. The holiday was the brainchild of Sonora Smart Dodd, a woman who was raised by her father, after her mother died while giving birth to her sixth child. That child was Sonora’s youngest brother. The family lived on a remote farm in eastern Washington. Dodd’s father had to continue to maintain the farm, while raising six children all alone.
Mrs. Dodd’s mother died in 1898, and it wasn’t until ten years later, and she was married and raising her own children, that Dodd realized the extent of her father’s efforts – all as a single dad. As she sat in church on Mother’s Day Sunday of 1908, listening to a sermon about Mother’s Day, it dawned on her that there ought to be a holiday on which to recognize fathers, too.
She embarked on a campaign to establish a Father’s Day celebration, first in Spokane, and then across the country. She decided to have the event in June because her father’s birthday was in June. Originally, she wanted to have it on June 5, to coincide with her father’s birthday. She enlisted the help of other people to help her plan a large celebration, but her collaborators talked her out of having it on June 5, insisting there wouldn’t be enough time to pull off an appropriate celebration. The date was set for June 19, and the first event honoring fathers took place at the YMCA in Spokane, Washington.
Her concept for a national Father’s Day observance impressed Williams Jennings Bryan, a well-known orator, and politician so much that he offered his support. She soon garnered the support of other important dignitaries, including President Woodrow Wilson. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed that Father’s Day would be a national holiday, but he still didn’t get Congress to pass legislation making it an official national observance.
In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed an official order, making Father’s Day an annual holiday that would be celebrated on the third Sunday of June. In 1972, President Richard M. Nixon signed a congressional act that established the third Sunday of every June, as a permanent national Father’s Day holiday.
If you look at the results of national surveys regarding Father’s Day gifts, you will see that there isn’t a lot of enthusiasm anymore, for the old standby gifts like tools, ties, or shirts. Dad’s want to receive something that’s thoughtful, different, and reflective of their personalities.
If your dad has a home office, private den or “man room,” help him transform that cave-like space into a room he’ll really enjoy spending time in. Our Bromeliad Plant will certainly do that. He can even take it out to the patio during summer so he can enjoy looking at it while he’s in charge of the outdoor barbecuing activities.
Pamper dad’s love for chocolate with our Chocoholics Basket. He can munch on assorted chocolate treats while he watches the Houston Astros trample their opposition.