How did we start celebrating Father’s day- Father’s day history and why do we celebrate it?

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Father’s Day is that one day in a year when dads get to feel appreciated for their hard work and sacrifice. Maybe when you were in school, you made him a card or a gift. When you become a dad yourself, the meaning of Father’s Day changes. You can still celebrate with your father but all of a sudden you are the one being is a very strange feeling, at least for your first couple of Father’s days now it’s your child who is making that paper tie that says happy Father’s Day.

Beginning of Father’s Day

But how did Father’s Day start and why? What is the history of Father’s Day what’s the origins of this holiday and what does it mean

On July 5th 1908, Sunday morning a service was organized by a woman named Grace Clayton and this was in Fairview West Virginia and the reason for this service was the death of 360 men in a Fairmont mine explosion the year before.

That explosion was in Menengah, West Virginia and Fairmont was very close by; Out of those 360 plus, 200 of those men were fathers. This was a big deal in the area at the time, and over a thousand children became fatherless. So when things are mentioned in the history of Father’s Day, this is often one of those first recorded celebrations of fathers. So it is often highlighted when we talk about the history of Father’s Day

Father’s Day becoming a reality

Then in 1909 there was this guy William Jackson who was a farmer and a Civil War veteran, and he raised a daughter and five boys by himself it seems that his wife had died during the birth of their sixth child.

The daughter who was the oldest was named Sonora. She was at a Mother’s Day service in 1909 in Spokane, Washington, and she thought of this idea of celebrating her father. She wanted to honor him and the other fathers. She’d like to celebrate that and really honor him. In this, dot really tried to drum up support for her idea of celebrating her father.

After visiting many institutions, it was the YMCA that really stepped up and wanted to help her celebrate this. She wanted to have the celebration on June 5th because that was her father’s birthday, but the Ministerial Association and the YMCA agreed to do it on the third Sunday in June. They said that’ll give it some distance between Mother’s Day which was on the second Sunday in May, and it’ll give some time for the ministers to prepare their sermons.

Getting Government recognition

Mother’s Day was made an official holiday in 1914 by President Woodrow Wilson. He declared the second Sunday in May to be Mother’s Day to honor that tender, gentle army of the mothers of America. While Mother’s Day was an official holiday, Father’s Day was not. Though the President tried to bring it to Congress, they never gave an affirmative response.

However, in 1916 President Wilson made his own effort to honor Father’s Day by celebrating it personally with his family and that was a big deal at the time still was unofficial, but he celebrated it.

Another important date was 1924 President Calvin Coolidge suggested the government observe Father’s Day. It was to establish more intimate relations between fathers and their children and to impress upon fathers the full measure of their obligations.

The men didn’t care for flowers, and they really weren’t into the gifts like people were doing for Mother’s Day. People just really thought that this was a commercial push to sell more products, and it really bothered the fathers because they were the breadwinners, so basically the family was buying gifts for him with his money.

Father’s Day saves the Economy.

All the mentioned events took place in the middle of the Great Depression, so 1929 to 1933 retailers were hurting. These store owners had to do something, so they thought if they promoted Sporting Goods, neckties, socks, hats, and things that dads like they could promote these for Father’s Day and almost have like a second Christmas which will then get people to buy things.

Then during and after World War two, advertisers started promoting Father’s Day as a way to support and honor the troops, again trying to figure out a way to sell more products. In 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed an executive order and made the first presidential Father’s Day proclamation, that the holiday will be celebrated on the third Sunday in June. He requested, the flag be displayed at all government buildings as well. Now remember this still wasn’t official, but that Proclamation was made.

It wasn’t until 1972 that Richard Nixon signed the official proclamation that made Father’s Day a federal holiday in the United States. What has happened over the years is there’s been a tremendous increase in spending? Father’s Day is big business in countries like the U.S., and it is also celebrated in other parts of the world.


It is pretty amazing that people spend billions on events like Father’s Day and Mother’s Day, and it happens across the globe. You know many different countries may celebrate it at different times or have different customs of what they do but in general the idea is pretty much the same it is honoring fatherhood and celebrating the impact that fathers have in our society.

If you are a child please make your father feel special not just for today but every day and that in itself is really important. It is the best gift you can give your father.

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