Origin of Fatherís Day
Children have always celebrated their
fatherís since the beginning of time. Like the origins of Motherís Day,
ancient civilizations celebrated their gods, including a celebration for
the king of their gods, Zeus. The holiday was called the Festival of
Zeus (and usually marked the time of the ancient Olympic competitions).
Since the beginning of Early Catholicism, the celebration of the
ďfatherĒ of Jesus was also celebrated on St. Josephís Day (which
coincidentally falls out around Fatherís Day, on June 19th).
Fatherís Day celebration as we know it today was created in the early
part of the 19th Century. Its origins come from three
different people, Harry Meek, Dr. Robert Webb and Mrs. John Bruce Dodd.
Dr. Robert Webb
Mrs. John Bruce Dodd
Three thousand miles away, Sonora Amart
Dodd (Mrs. John Bruce Dodd) promoted the Fatherís
Day concept in Spokane
Washington. She came up with this concept to commemorate her father,
William Jackson Smart, a widower and Civil War Veteran, who raised six
children by himself (her mother died in childbirth). The idea came to
her while listening to a Motherís Day sermon in 1909. She promoted the
Fatherís Day idea with much vigor. With the help of the Spokane
Ministerial Association, the Spokane YMCA and other organizations and
politicians, Spokane became the first city to ďofficiallyĒ celebrate a
Fatherís Day, when it did so on June 19th, 1910 (note: they
were originally going to celebrate it on June 5th, the date
of her fatherís birthday, but organizers did not have the time to get it
together until the 19th).
Harry Meek has been credited by some as the
creator of Fatherís Day and in his position as President of the Chicago
Uptown Lionís Club conducted Fatherís Day events. The Lionís Club chose
the third Sunday of June to celebrate the holiday because it was close
to the birthday of Harry Meek. However, the first celebration was not
conducted until five years later.
National Support of Fatherís
In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge gave
support to establish a national day to honor fathers. He wanted a day
that ďwould establish more intimate relations between fathers and their
children and to impress upon fathers the full measure of their
obligations.ď This lead to the creation of a National Fatherís Day
Committee which met for the first time two years later in New York City.
In 1956, Fatherís Day is recognized by a
Joint Resolution of Congress.
In 1966, the first presidential
proclamation establishing a national Fatherís Day was made in 1966 by
President Lyndon Johnson. It proclaimed the third Sunday of June to be
In 1972, Fatherís Day became ďofficiallyĒ
recognized as a holiday when President Richard Nixon signed a law that
named the third Sunday in June as Fatherís Day.
Dates for Fatherís Day
2005: Sun, June 19
2006: Sun, June 18
2007: Sun, June 17
Fatherís Day Traditions and Celebrations
One custom arising from the early
celebrations was the wearing of flowers on Fatherís Day. White flowers
honored a living father and red flowers for a deceased father. Today,
wearing of flowers is not as prevalent Ė but many people still do.
Neck ties have become a favorite gift for
Fatherís Day. The sales of neckties rise to over 800 million during the
time of the holiday.
Fatherís Day cards are usually given on
Fatherís Day. An interesting fact is that over 90% of the cards are
bought by women and most are usually humorous.
International Observation of Fatherís Day
The United States is one of the only
countries to officially recognize a national holiday for fathers.
However, other countries do celebrate fathers officially and
Celebratory Dates Around the World
June 5th: Denmark
June 20th: Bulgaria
First Sunday in June: Lithuania
Second Sunday in June: Austria,
Third Sunday in June: Argentina,
Canada, Chile, France, Japan, Netherlands, United States, United
Day History and Facts
Father's Day (Morning-glow.com): Information,
activities and links relating to the holiday.
of Father's Day History (Infoplease.com):
A timeline of the holiday with many good facts throughout.
Father's Day (NetGlimpse.com):
Information and links about Father's Day.
Father's Day (About.com):
Article on the origins and history of Father's Day.
For a comprehensive list of Father's Day links,
When we want to show love for a father, sometimes we need
to give the perfect gift. Not just any gift will do. It needs to
have meaning and show the love you feel. We could suggest
our Type of Person section to find gifts for that particular
our advice in this column, or
take a look at the gifts listed below
affiliates or our own store below.
The traditional father's day neck tie -
however, get one with a theme
A series of books to read on a subject
your father enjoys
Cigar of the Month Club for smokers
Personalized Mugs & other items
CDs of your father's favorite music
Subscription to a magazine
Tickets to a Sporting Game
Take your father to dinner
More Expensive Gifts:
Power Tools (find out what they want
Season Tickets to a sports team
Take the whole family on a cruise (it
is a gift for everyone)
Surf & Turf dinner for the family
New Set of Golf Clubs
And don't forget to also buy them the
For a more
comprehensive list of Father's Day Gift Ideas CLICK HERE