The energy is stirring, the gifts are bought, the children have created the perfect artwork, meals are in the oven, what about the memes and the favorite pictures, let’s get ready – it’s Father’s Day!! How can we tell Daddy how much he means to us? Let’s find a way!!
No worries… I think he knows! Our Fathers, those in our lives who guide us and show us how to Be Fathers… we love them. And when Father’s Day comes around, we try to show them what they mean to us, somehow, some way.
Two of the most important commemorations of the year are for our parents – Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. We’re grateful that these ‘days’ exist, causing us to return in the mind to fathers who may be no longer living, to recognize fathers who are indeed living and doing a great job, and to acknowledge and show love to all who are holding up the role of father in our families and neighborhoods – thank you!
Let’s take a quick look into where this commemoration came from. Who ‘decided’ it and why. Here’s what google says:
“Father’s Day was founded in Spokane, Washington, at the YMCA in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd, who was born in Arkansas. Its first celebration was in the Spokane YMCA on June 19, 1910. Her father, the Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who raised his six children there.”
Well there we have it – founded out of love for an exemplary father. But then again, according to History.com Father’s Day has a longer and very interesting story behind it.
“The nation’s first Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, in the state of Washington. However, it was not until 1972—58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official—that the day honoring fathers became a nationwide holiday in the United States. Father’s Day 2023 will occur on Sunday, June 18.”
The History article goes on to say that the ‘official’ Father’s Day was inspired by Mother’s Day, and as we saw, Mother’s Day came first by 58 years. The original Mother’s Day was held to honor a mother who brought together the mothers of the Confederate and Union soldiers during a reconciliation campaign after the Civil War ended. The daughter, Anna Jarvis, wanted to make the day a national holiday so she created a service dedicated to mothers that was sponsored by a Philadelphia department store. That was in 1909, and apparently the idea caught on so well it was made official by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914. He dedicated it to “that tender, gentle army, the mothers of America.”
Now that we know about Mother’s Day, what about Father’s Day? Well, apparently this was more challenging. Retailers knew they could sell flowers and gifts for Mothers, but Fathers didn’t cooperate very well – they didn’t go for the sentimentality.
The First Father’s Days
A West Virginia church organized a Father’s Day for a reason far above and beyond sentimentality: “On July 5, 1908, a West Virginia church sponsored the nation’s first event explicitly in honor of fathers, a Sunday sermon in memory of the 362 men who had died in the previous December’s explosions at the Fairmont Coal Company mines in Monongah, but it was a one-time commemoration and not an annual holiday.”
The next year in Spokane, Washington, a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd, went to churches, shopkeepers, YMCA and government officials in an effort to establish an official Father’s Day. She and her brothers and sisters had been raised by their father, who was a widower. She was successful in getting Washington State to celebrate Father’s Day on June 19, 1910. Apparently the idea did spread and States began honoring Fathers, but as we know, Father’s Day didn’t become ‘official’ until 1972.
What took it so long? Apparently the men just weren’t into it! As we mentioned, it was considered a little too sentimental for them. The retailers tried to move it forward but the Fathers resisted… they didn’t want to spend their money on gifts for themselves. The argument arose that both parents should be loved and honored, so a movement was created to scrap Mother’s Day and Father’s Day and create a Parent’s Day. This idea was derailed by the Great Depression.
On we go to the time period of WWII. Once again, retailers took up the Father’s Day advocacy, arguing that celebrating Father’s Day was a way to honor American troops and support the war effort. By the end of the war, Father’s Day was not yet a federal holiday, but it was celebrated across the nation. Finally, in 1972 President Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday.
Yes, retailers did play a role in creating Father’s Day but let’s go back to the first one. If you recall, the very first one took place to honor more than 360 Fathers who died in a coal company mining explosion. And the second one was founded to honor a father who raised six children by himself. Just two examples of the sacrifice, dedication and strength of Fathers. And let’s include guidance as well.
Happy Father’s Day to all AMS Dads, all surrogate Dads, and all who take up the noble role of Father. You know what we love about you? It is your Example to us. We all know a gift to Dad doesn’t have to involve spending money. Spending time is a cherished gift, and doing something special that Dad enjoys will give him memories. Those are the best gifts of all. But if we want to make the retailers happy and spend a little money on a sentimental gift… it’s okay. Dad likes getting gifts too.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY – ENJOY ENJOY – WE LOVE YOU