Father's Day 2015
Father’s Day is a celebration honoring fathers and celebrating fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. Many countries celebrate it on the third Sunday of June. Father’s Day was inaugurated in the United States in the early 20th century to complement Mother’s Day in celebrating fatherhood and male parenting.
The history of how Father’s Day first came to be varies by account, but was believed to be first observed in 1908 in Fairmont, West Virginia. Inspired by Anna Jarvis who successfully created Mother’s Day, Grace Clayton proposed the idea after losing her father and the death of 361 minors, 250 of them fathers leaving over a thousand children fatherless. Clayton suggested her pastor Robert Thomas Webb of the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South honor all those fathers. This event would be replicated throughout the next several years in small towns in the United States including Spokane, WA, where Sonora Dodd who proposed the idea to her pastor in honor of her father the late William Smart. Smart had raised all six of his children by himself. Although Dodd initially suggested June 5, (her father’s birthday), the pastors did not have enough time to prepare their sermons, and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday of June. Several local clergymen accepted the idea, and on 19 June 1910, the first Father’s Day, sermons honoring fathers were presented throughout the city.
A bill to accord national recognition of the holiday was introduced in Congress in 1913. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson went to Spokane to speak in a Father’s Day celebration and wanted to make it official, but Congress resisted, fearing that it would become commercialized. US President Calvin Coolidge recommended in 1924 that the day be observed by the nation, but stopped short of issuing a national proclamation. Two earlier attempts to formally recognize the holiday had been defeated by Congress. In 1957, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote a proposal accusing Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers, thus “[singling] out just one of our two parents”. In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.
In addition to Father’s Day, International Men’s Day is celebrated in many countries on November 19 for men and boys who are not fathers.
Father’s Day Around the World:
Father’s Day in Argentina is celebrated on the third Sunday of June, but there have been several attempts to change the date to August 24, to commemorate the day on which the “Father of the Nation” José de San Martín became a father.
In Australia, Father’s Day is celebrated on the first Sunday of September, which is the first Sunday of Spring in Australia, and is not a public holiday.
YMCA Victoria continues the tradition of honoring the role fathers, and father figures play in parenting through the annual awarding of Local Community Father of the Year in 32 municipalities in Victoria. The Father’s Day Council of Victoria annually recognizes fathers in the Father of the Year Award.
In People’s Republic of China, the official Father’s Day is celebrated on the 3rd Sunday of June and is not a public holiday. This date was set according to international norms.
In Haiti, Father’s Day (Fête des peres) is celebrated on the last Sunday of. Fathers are recognized & celebrated on this day with cards, gifts, breakfast, lunch brunch or early Sunday dinner; whether enjoying the day at the beach or mountains, spending family time or doing activities that make Dad happiest, it’s all about Dad.
Children exclaim “Bonne Fête Papa!” while everyone wishes all fathers “Bonne fête des Pères”. (Happy Father’s Day)