JUNE 19 - 3rd Sunday – Father's Day

JUNE 19, 2011* - Father's Day



Father’s Day is a day honoring fathers, celebrated on the third Sunday of June in 52 of the world's countries and on other days elsewhere. It complements Mother's Day, the celebration honoring mothers.

History

Father's Day is a celebration inaugurated in the early twentieth century to complement Mother's Day in celebrating fatherhood and male parenting, and to honor and commemorate fathers and forefathers. Father's Day is celebrated on a variety of dates worldwide and typically involves gift-giving, special dinners to fathers, and family-oriented activities.

The first observance of Father's Day is believed to have been held on June 19, 1910 through Sonora Dodd's efforts of Spokane.

Sonora Smart Dodd of Washington thought independently of the holiday one Sunday in 1909 while listening to a Mother's Day sermon at the Central Methodist Episcopal Church at Spokane, and she arranged a tribute for her father on June 19, 1910. She was the first to solicit the idea of having an official Father's Day observance to honor all fathers.

It took many years to make the holiday official. In spite of support from the YWCA, the YMCA and churches, it ran the risk of disappearing from the calendar. Where Mother's Day was met with enthusiasm, Father's Day was met with laughter. The holiday was gathering attention slowly, but for the wrong reasons. It was the target of much satire, parody and derision, including jokes from the local newspaper Spokesman-Review. Many people saw it as just the first step in filling the calendar with mindless promotions like "Grandparents' Day", "Professional Secretaries' Day", etc., all the way down to "National Clean Your Desk Day."

A bill was introduced in 1913, US President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea in 1924, and a national committee was formed in the 1930s by trade groups in order to legitimize the holiday. It was made a federal holiday when President Lyndon Johnson issued a proclamation in 1966.

In addition to Father's Day, International Men's Day is celebrated in many countries, most often on November 19.

Roman Catholic tradition

In the Roman Catholic tradition, Fathers are celebrated on Saint Joseph's Day, commonly called Feast of Saint Joseph, March 19, though in certain countries Father's Day has become a secular celebration.

United States of America

In the US, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June. Its first celebration was in Spokane, Washington on June 19, 1910. Other festivities honoring fathers had been held in Fairmont and in Creston, but the modern holiday didn't emerge from those.

Modern Father's Day was invented by Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd, born in Creston, Washington, who was also the driving force behind its establishment. Her father, the Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who reared his six children in Spokane, Washington. She was inspired by Anna Jarvis's efforts to establish Mother's Day. Although she initially suggested June 5, her father's birthday, she did not provide the organizers with enough time to make arrangements, and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday of June. The first June Father's Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, in Spokane, WA, at the Spokane YMCA.

Unofficial support from such figures as William Jennings Bryan was immediate and widespread. President Woodrow Wilson was personally feted by his family in 1916. President Calvin Coolidge recommended it as a national holiday in 1924. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson made Father's Day a holiday to be celebrated on the third Sunday of June. The holiday was not officially recognized until 1972, during the presidency of Richard Nixon.

In recent years, retailers have adapted to the holiday by promoting greeting cards and male-oriented gifts such as electronics and tools. Schools and other children's programs commonly have activities to make Father's Day gifts.

Antecedent

The first modern celebration of a "Father's Day" was held on July 5, 1908, in Fairmont, West Virginia, in the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South, now known as Central United Methodist Church. Grace Golden Clayton chose the Sunday nearest to the birthday of her father, Methodist minister Fletcher Golden. The city was overwhelmed by other events and the celebration was never promoted outside of the town itself and no proclamation was made in the City Council. Two events overshadowed this event: the celebration of the Independence Day in 4 July, with 12,000 attendants and several shows including a hot air balloon event, which took over the headlines in the following days, and the death of a 16 year old girl on 4 July, that became known on 5 July. The local church and Council were overwhelmed and they didn't even think of promoting the event, and it wasn't celebrated again for many years. The original sermon was not reproduced in press and it was lost. Additionally, Clayton was a quiet person, who never promoted the event or even talked to other persons about it.

Clayton was mourning the loss of her father, and on December of that year the Monongah Mining Disaster in nearby Monongah killed 361 men, 250 of them fathers, leaving around a thousand of fatherless children. Clayton suggested her pastor Robert Thomas Webb to honor all those fathers.

Clayton also might have been inspired by Anna Jarvis' crusade to establish Mother's Day, since two months ago she had held a celebration for her dead mother in Grafton, West Virginia, a town about 15 miles (24 km) away from Fairmont.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


*Fathers' Day will be celebrated as follows:
                       2011 – June 19
                       2012 – June 17
                       2013 – June 16
                       2014 – June 15