Baker’s Dozen – Father’s Day

Here are 13 fun facts about Father’s Day.

1)  Father’s Day is celebrated the 3rd Sunday of June in the U.S.

2)  Some believe that Father’s Day originated as the result of Grace Golden Clayton’s efforts after the Monongah Mining Disaster which occurred in Monongah, West Virginia, on December 6, 1907.  The explosion killed 361 men of whom 250 were fathers.  The disaster left around 1,000 children fatherless.  A Father’s Day service was held on July 5, 1908, but the event was not promoted beyond this area nor was it celebrated again for many years.

3)  Most people agree that Father’s Day was founded in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd.  She wanted a holiday for fathers similar to the Mother’s Day holiday successfully promoted by Anna Jarvis.  Dodd wanted to honor her father, a Civil War veteran and single parent, who reared his six children in Spokane, Washington.  Widowers in this era typically put their children into orphanages or left them for other relatives to raise.  His act of raising his own children was unusual for the time.

4)  The Lion’s Club has named Harry C. Meekas the originator of Father’s Day because of his efforts to promote the idea in 1915.  Clearly, his efforts came after those of Clayton in 1908 and Dodd in 1910.

5)  The first bill to make Father’s Day a recognized holiday was submitted to Congress in 1913, but it failed to pass on several occasions until, finally, President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.

6)  It was Dodd’s efforts in conjunction with trade groups that ultimately led to the practice of recognizing fathers on a special holiday.  The trade groups that helped the promotion are those that benefited such as the makers of ties, tobacco pipes, and other traditionally male oriented products.  She also had the help of the Father’s Day Council, founded by the New York Associated Men’s Wear Retailers in 1938, to commercially promote Father’s Day.

7)  Americans resisted the holiday for a several decades because it was seen as an attempt by merchandisers to duplicate the commercial success of Mother’s Day.  The media often used sarcasm and jokes to dismiss the idea, but the trade groups didn’t give up until they succeeded.  It took until the mid 1980s for Father’s Day to “become a ‘Second Christmas’ for all the men’s gift-oriented industries.”

8)  In the U.S., more phone calls are made on Mother’s Day than on Father’s Day.

9)  More phone calls, greeting cards, and gifts are sold on Mother’s Day than on Father’s Day, but sports, electronics, and other “male” oriented products are successfully promoted for Father’s Day gift giving.

10)  Many countries throughout the world also honor fathers on a special day.  Many occur in conjunction with the Feast of St. Joseph in March or on other dates throughout the year.

11)  Although Father’s Day should be spelled “Fathers’ Day” the most common spelling is “Father’s Day.”  Dodd used the “Fathers’ Day” spelling on her original petition for the holiday, but the spelling “Father’s Day” was already in use by 1913 when the first bill was introduced to the Congress to establish the holiday.

12)  Father’s Day is not a federal holiday.  Organizations, businesses, and stores are open or closed just as they are on any other Sunday in the year.

13)  Father’s Day celebrates the contribution that fathers and father figures make for their children’s lives.

Sources: and Wikipedia.

Happy Father’s Day to my Dear Sweet Hubby!  Thank you for being a great husband and a great dad, too!

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