The History of Father's Day

What to Offer as a Great Father’s Day Gift

The contemporary form of Father's Day celebration began in United States of America and thereafter the tradition spread in countries around the world. So, it seems that the world owes thanks to Ms. Sonora Louise Smart Dodd a loving daughter from Spokane, Washington as it is because of her struggle that Father's Day is celebrated.

According to history, Sonora had the idea of Father’s Day while listening by chance to a Mother's Day sermon in 1909. So, at the age 27, Sonora decided that if there is a day to honor mother then there should be such a day for fathers as well. Sonora felt strongly for fathers because of the affection she received from her own father Mr. William Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran. Sonora's mother died while childbirth when she was just 16. Mr. Smart raised the newborn and five other children with love and care.

And so, feeling inspired by Ms. Anna Jarvis' struggle to promote Mother's Day, Ms. Dodd had begun a campaign to celebrate Father's Day in the US. It seems that the Spokane Ministerial Association as well as the local Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) supported Sonora's cause. Therefore, Spokane celebrated its first Father's Day on June 19, 1910. Even though they had to face a certain hesitation at first, the idea gained gradual popularity all over the US and Father’s Day started to be celebrated in cities across the country.

Looking at the heightened popularity of Father's Day in US, President Woodrow Wilson had approved of the idea in 1916. President Calvin Coolidge also supported the idea of a national Father's Day in 1924 to, "establish more intimate relations between fathers and their children and to impress upon fathers the full measure of their obligations". After a protracted struggle of over four decades, President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father's Day in 1966. Then in 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father's Day to be held on the third Sunday of June. Dodd was honored for her contribution at the World's Fair in Spokane in 1974. Mrs. Dodd died in 1978 at age 96.

Being an actual celebration and tradition now, on Father’s Day many people make a special effort for their fathers or father figures. So on Father’s Day, people may visit their fathers, while others give cards, flowers or other gifts, such as clothing or sporting equipment, or luxury items. Father's Day is somewhat of a modern holiday, therefore several families have various traditions. These can extent from a phone call or greetings card to big parties honoring all father figures in an extended family. Father figures can include fathers, step-fathers, fathers-in-law, grandfathers, great-grandfathers and even other male relatives.

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The History of Father’s Day - What to Offer as a Great Father’s Day Gift

How do you celebrate Father’s Day? Have you chosen the perfect gift yet? Share with us in the comments below.