Father’s Day is right around the corner – June 19. It is time to think about a very important person in your life – your Father. But, before you begin with any further plans for the day, discover some amusing Father’s Day facts here.
Father’s Day is observed to celebrate fatherhood and to recognize the contribution that fathers and father figures make to the lives of their kids. In most countries, the third Sunday of June is observed as Father’s Day. Though it’s not a public holiday in many countries including India, but is observed almost globally. Retailers and others in the market have made thing more interesting by promoting father-dedicated gifts and cards such as electronic items, etc.
We have a few different Father’s Day origin stories out there. One of which says that Father’s Day is inspired from a large memorial service which took place in 1908. This 1908 memorial service was held to commemorate the men, who lost their lives to a mining accident in West Virginia in 1907. This might sound a tragic origin to such a wonderful day but, this is not the only story we have. Read further to know how it all started…
It was in 1908 that Anna Jarvis was working to get Mother’s Day recognized as a holiday. She was inspired by the work of her mother Ann Reeves Jarvis in educating young mothers about health problems such as tuberculosis.
Then, on one fine day in May 1909, Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington was listening to Mother’s Day sermon, when she decided that she wanted to designate a day for her father. Sonora’s mother had passed away in childbirth. It was her father, William Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran, who took the parenting responsibility of the newborn along with his other 5 children single-handedly.
Sonora Smart Dodd wished to celebrate Father’s Day on the 5th of June, her father’s birthday the following year in 1910. She also petitioned for the date to be recognized as a holiday in her city. But the Spokane’s Mayor pushed the date by two weeks, as he needed more time to arrange the celebration, according to the Spokane Regional Convention and Visitor Bureau. So, when was the first Father’s Day celebrated? Well, the first Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910.
First Father’s Day – June 19, 1910, the third Sunday of June 1910
Although President Woodrow Wilson approved Dodd’s efforts in designating the day to her father in 1916 and he also worked to make this occasion be more widely accepted and celebrated, Father’s Day wasn’t recognized as an official holiday in the United States until the 1970s.
It was President Richard Nixon, who officially recognized Father’s Day as a holiday in the United States in the year 1972.
Though not on the same day (the third Sunday of June), Father’s Day is now celebrated globally in more than 60 countries across the globe. Countries such as the United States, Canada, UK, France, India, China, Japan, South Africa and the Philippines celebrate the day on the third Sunday of June every year. Whereas, Father’s Day is celebrated on February 23 as the ‘Defender of the Fatherland Day’ in Russia, on March 19 as the ‘Festa del Papa’ in Italy, as ‘Dia do Pai’ in Portugal and as ‘Dia del Padre’ in Spain. Similarly, it is observed on the first Sunday of June in Switzerland, on the second Sunday of June in Austria and Belgium, on the first Sunday of September in Australia and New Zealand and so on.
We do love our respective lovely fathers but if you see stats presented by the Greeting Card Association, the popularity of Father’s Day still falls behind that of Mother’s Day. Father’s Day stands on number four, behind Christmas, Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day, in terms of popularity.
So, this time – mark the coming Sunday on your calendars and go shopping for your fathers. Share how special he is to you with little cards and gifts or with time well spent together. Is there anything we missed here? Let us know more fun facts about the day. Happy Father’s Day!