History of every 3rd Sunday of June - FATHER’S DAY

History of every 3rd Sunday of June -  FATHER’S DAY Banner
History of every 3rd Sunday of June -  FATHER’S DAY Banner

Fathers' Day is celebrated to honor fatherhood and the sacrifices they make. On July 5th, 1908 the first observance of Father's Day in the U.S. took place due to the efforts of Mrs. Grace Golden Clayton when she convinced the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South in Fairmont, West Virginia, to hold a special service to commemorate 361 men — most of them fathers — who lost their lives in a coal mine explosion seven months previous.

This particular Father's Day service was an isolated event but there were records of many other days that were dedicated to celebrating the dads. But the real reason Father's Day was started can be traced to one individual - Sonora Smart Dodd, for whose efforts it was celebrated on the third Sunday of June in 1910. Sonora Smart Dodd and her siblings were raised by their father, William Smart in their farmhouse as their mother passed away as she was giving birth to their 5th child.

Sonora Dodd hence decided to come up with a day to celebrate her and everyone else's father's sacrifices and contributions on the 5th of June, on the day of her father's birthday. Miss Sonora then approached Spokane Ministerial service and YMCA to set aside 5th June as father's day but since Mother's day was celebrated in America on 2nd Sunday they decided to keep aside the day 19th June which was a Sunday.

Still, the day was not popularized until the 1930s as Miss Sonora had moved to Chicago for her studies, and only after she returned that she along with some trade groups who benefitted immensely from such holiday like New York Men Wear Retailers, supported her that the movement got some traction.

Slowly, the holiday spread. President Wilson in 1916 honored the day by using telegraph signals to unfurl a flag in Spokane by pressing a button in Washington, D.C. President Calvin Coolidge urged state governments to observe Father’s Day in 1924 and wished to recognize the day as a national holiday but the American Congress resisted it as it feared that the day may be commercialized. In 1957, the then-Senator of Maine, Margaret Chase Smith who accused the Congress of discriminating against fathers for 40 years by singling out the contribution of only one parent. In 1966, then President of United States of America, Lyndon B Johnson, signed a presidential proclamation to recognize the third Sunday of every June to be celebrated as Father's day. Only in 1972, President Richard Nixon signed it into law, and thus, Father's Day was officially a holiday in the USA. Other countries too followed suit to celebrate it, and thus it became a worldwide phenomenon.

The reason behind the celebration of Father’s Day

Father's day is celebrated to recognize the role of fathers in our lives whose efforts are often overlooked or are under-appreciated by our society. The mother's role is widely acclaimed and appreciated and rightly so, but that doesn't mean that fathers cannot have a day to where we celebrate him and thank him.

The father is a silent guardian, he may not be as actively involved with his children but his presence is felt the most when he is not there. He provides us the platform and the base which allows us to grow and shine in life. Fathers, like mothers, are crucial to the development of a child’s emotional wellness. Children look up to fathers to lay down the rules and enforce them. They also seek from their fathers a feeling of security, both physical and emotional.

Children want to make their fathers proud, and an involved father helps in the development of inner growth and strength. Fathers also determine how their children develop relationships with other people - daughters often look for security and emotional support from their fathers and they get to know what a good relationship with a man is like.

If a father is loving and gentle then those are qualities she would look for when she gets into a relationship with a man, for boys they model themselves after their father. If a father is just and treats people well then a boy would grow up to do the same when he grows up.

In a 26-year-old study conducted by the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, it was found that fathers who are actively involved in the lives of their children tend to be more empathetic and compassionate when they grow up. With all this information before us, it seems very natural that we have at least a day to celebrate their contributions in our lives and make them feel special.

Finally, on this Father's day, it is necessary to recognize and reward dads for being our pillars of support, and teaching us important life skills to us. Our fathers feel very good when we say say "Thank you for being there. This makes a difference to them and makes them feel that they occupy a special place in our lives.

Image source: Freepik

Published on: 18th June 2020