On June 18, Father's Day will be celebrated in America with a storm of ties, electronics, cards and other gifts. Start the day with breakfast in bed with these trivia questions about the holiday...
How Long Has Father’s Day Been Celebrated in the United States? Actually, you have a woman to thank for Father’s Day. Sonora Smart Dodd came up with the idea after listening to a church sermon about celebrating Mother’s Day in 1909. Her mother had died and her father, a veteran of the Civil War, was raising six children by himself. The first celebration was in Spokane, Washington, on June 19, 1910. She wanted this first Father’s Day to be held on June 5, which was her own father’s birthday, but more time was required to set it up.
Why Did It Take So Long for Father’s Day to Be Made Official?
Woodrow Wilson supported the idea and wanted to attend the Father’s
Day ceremony in Spokane in 1916 but didn’t because there had been some
jokes about it being a commercial holiday in newspapers. He did issue a
proclamation in 1914 in support of Mother’s Day. Calvin Coolidge made a
public announcement supporting the idea of Father’s Day in 1924.
However, proclaiming it a holiday was a long time in coming. Finally, interest grew sufficiently, and Father’s Day was recognized in a proclamation by Lyndon Johnson in 1966 as the third Sunday in June. Under Richard Nixon in 1972, it became a permanent holiday nationwide.
Who Is Credited With Having Created the First Father’s Day Card? A 4,000-year-old clay tablet with a message printed with a stylus was discovered amid the ruins of Babylon written by someone named Elmesu to his father. This is the first proven instance of a son honoring a father in writing. In the tablet, Elmesu wished for his father to have a long life and good health. It is unknown whether a tie accompanied the gift.
Do Other Countries Celebrate Father’s Day?
Many countries celebrate their own version of Father’s Day. The date
it is celebrated depends on the country, and many, but not all, are tied
to special holy days. Germany celebrates Father’s Day 40 days after
Easter, on Ascension Day. American men would probably enjoy the way
German fathers celebrate the day. They fill a wagon full of food,
schnapps, and beer and head out into the wilderness for some male
bonding time. When they tire of that, they head to a beer garden.
Father’s day in Canada isn’t just limited to biological fathers. A
Father’s Day greeting can be extended to any male who is important to
In Italy, Father’s Day is celebrated by going to church on St. Joseph’s Day. Afterward, they greet their fathers on the street, and finish the day by having a big feast and festivities such as dancing, music and donkey races. Mexico celebrates by getting dad up off the couch - after he has received cards and gifts (yes, they give ties too) and been served all his favorite foods - with a 21-kilometer race for fathers and their children that is run across Mexico City.