Father’s Day is an international holiday that celebrates fatherhood and the influences that father’s make in their children’s lives. In the United States, the holiday is recognized annually on the third Sunday in June. Many countries all over the world currently celebrate this holiday.
According to scholars, there are two different sources of the holiday’s creation. The most credible is in Tacoma, Washington in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd. The holiday was meant to honor men like her father William Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran and widower, who raised six children. Although the holiday saw initial success, interest began to wane after Dodd left to attend college in Chicago. It was only after her return to the area years later that interest renewed. The other theory regarding Father’s Day origins is that it was started in Fairmont, West Virginia in 1908 during a church sermon honoring victims of a coal mine disaster. However, few efforts were made to promote the event and it was soon forgotten.
Dodd’s interest in nationalizing the holiday was met with resistance over the years even though she had a great deal of backing by men’s trade merchants. These companies looked at Father’s Day as purely a money-making vehicle. Because of this, congress refused to pass the bill out of fear that it would be too commercialized. Lyndon B. Johnson finally issued a proclamation in 1966 designating Father’s Day on its present date. The holiday was finally voted into law six years later by Richard Nixon.
Like the United States, several countries preserve their Father’s Day celebrations on the third Sunday in June. Some Catholic countries hold their observances on The Feast of St. Josephs. All of the celebrations generally consist of the same activities such as buying gifts, Father’s Day cards, and spending time with your father.