Father’s Day is a celebration for fathers, inaugurated in the early 20th century to compliment Mother’s Day, by honoring fatherhood and male parenting.
If you look back in history, many people independently thought of a “Father’s Day”; however the official credit is bestowed to Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington.
Just like Mother’s Day history, there was someone who first planted the seed; and that was Grace Golden Clayton from Fairmont, West Virginia. The idea first came to light when Grace wanted to pay tribute to the fathers who lost their lives in the Monongah Mining Disaster in December 1907.
The mine explosion killed 361 men, 250 were fathers; leaving almost 1000 fatherless children. Grace approached her pastor, Robert Thomas Webb and suggested he hold a service to honor all the deceased fathers. Grace was also mourning the loss of her father, a Methodist minister, whose birthday was in July.
A “Father’s Day” celebration was held on July 5, 1908; (the Sunday nearest to the birthday of her father) in the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South in Fairmont. However, this being a local celebration, the concept of Father’s Day did not influence people living outside of West Virginia.
In 1910 Sonora Smart Dodd suggested that a designated day should be established to honor fathers, just like we honor mothers. Sonora particularly wanted to honor her father, William Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran, now a single parent raising six children after the death of her mother.
She wanted Father’s Day to be nationalized on June 5th, her father’s birthday; however the pastors of the local churches were unable to acknowledge that date as they needed time to prepare their sermons. The first Father’s Day celebration was observed on June 19, 1910 in Spokane, Washington.
In 1957, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote a proposal accusing Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers, “thus singling out one of our two parents”. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. In 1972, six years later, President Richard Nixon signed into law making Father’s Day a permanent national holiday.
It just goes to show you, it takes a band of determined women to get something accomplished!
So, let’s see what we can create in the kitchen for Father’s Day, in honor of good ol’dad to make this special guy happy.
I associate Father’s Day with a cook out rather than going to a restaurant, because you can all have an opportunity to cater to all the foods Dad likes, and he doesn’t have to get dressed up or shave for this event.
Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads, and to the Moms.. who do it alone. If you know a Dad who is going to be alone, invite him to be a part of your day, you will both sleep good tonight, and remember the Dads who are far away.. protecting us as we celebrate.