Did you know that there are actually more than 70 million fathers in the United States? Father’s Day was first celebrated on June 19, 2010. In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day. In 1972, it became an official nationwide holiday, and was signed into law by President Nixon. Therefore, it will be celebrated on Sunday, June 21st, of this year.
Sonora Smart Dodd was the oldest of six children and the only girl being raised by a single father who was a Civil War veteran. Her own mother had died in childbirth, and she helped her father raise her five younger siblings. She realized early in life how important a father is to the family unit. She is considered the mother of Father’s Day. She wanted fathers to be recognized and celebrated as were mothers. However, the idea of Father’s Day was not met with the same sentimental response as was Mother’s Day. As one historian put it, men ‘scoff at the holiday’s sentimental attempts with flowers and gift giving….’ Many decided it was just a “commercial gimmick” to be paid for by the fathers themselves. It took decades of hard work before fathers were recognized and celebrated in much the same way as mothers were.
Nevertheless, today American fatherhood is recognized and celebrated with backyard barbeques, fishing and camping trips, homemade goodies, and many other activities that families think that their fathers will enjoy. So make plans to fire up that grill and enjoy a leisurely day of family time with your dad. If your father lives too far away, pick up that phone, give him a call, and simply say, “Happy Father’s Day, Dad!”
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