Here's a shout-out to all the fabulous Dads and Grandfathers in our lives.
I was blessed to have a great Dad and a wonderful Grandpa. They both factored majorly in my life, especially when I was younger. So in their honor, I thought it would be fun to talk about the origins of Father's Day.
This comes from the History Channel...
The campaign to celebrate the nation's fathers did not meet with the same enthusiasm as Mother's Day–perhaps because, as one florist explained, "fathers haven't the same sentimental appeal that mothers have."
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 following year, a Spokane, Washington, woman named Sonora Smart Dodd, one of six children raised by a widower, tried to establish an official equivalent to Mother's Day for male parents. She went to local churches, the YMCA, shopkeepers, and government officials to drum up support for her idea. And she was successful: Washington State celebrated the nation's first statewide Father's Day on June 19, 1910.
Slowly, the holiday spread. In 1916, President Wilson honored the day by using telegraph signals to unfurl a flag in Spokane when he pressed a button in Washington, D.C. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge urged state governments to observe Father's Day.
Father's Day almost didn't survive. Many men disdained the day. As one historian writes, they "scoffed at the holiday's sentimental attempts to domesticate manliness with flowers and gift-giving, or they derided the proliferation of such holidays as a commercial gimmick to sell more products–often paid for by the father himself."
During the 1920s and 1930s, a movement arose to scrap Mother's Day and Father's Day in favor of a single holiday, Parents' Day. The Great Depression derailed this effort to combine and de-commercialize the holidays. Struggling retailers and advertisers redoubled their efforts to make Father's Day a "second Christmas" for men, promoting goods such as neckties, hats, socks, pipes and tobacco, golf clubs and other sporting goods, and greeting cards.
When World War II began, advertisers began to argue 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 may not have been a federal holiday, but it was a national institution.
In 1972, in the middle of a hard-fought presidential re-election campaign, Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making Father's Day a federal holiday at last.
I found this mini history lesson on Father's Day so fun and interesting. I didn't know the origins until I did some research for this newsletter, but I'm glad I did. I always like to learn new things, and you can now say you met your quota to learn something new today.
If you are blessed to still have your Dad or Grandfather in your life, please make sure to tell them how special they are and how much they've impacted your life. Both my Dad and Grandfather are in Heaven now. I miss them every day, but I will celebrate their memory on Father's Day.
I also want to give a huge shout-out to my husband Tony, who is an amazing Dad to our 3 children and our 6 young grandchildren. They're lucky to have you in their lives!!! We Love You!
Happy Father's Day,