History of Father’s Day

shutterstock_383507287Father’s Day is a time to celebrate fathers and everything they do for their families. However, the fight to make Father’s Day a national holiday wasn’t as smooth as Mother’s Day. If you would like to know more about Father’s Day, check out the answers to these four questions.

What Inspired Father’s Day?

Father’s Day was actually inspired by Mother’s Day. Sonora Smart Dodd was the leading force behind Father’s Day. Inspired by her father’s love and dedication to raising six children by himself after the death of their mother, she wanted to create a day that would celebrate fathers. She was also influenced by Anna Jarvis, who was the leading force behind creating Mother’s Day, and she felt that fathers, especially those like her own, deserved a day to be celebrated.

How Did Father’s Day Begin?

The first type of Father’s Day celebration was actually a sermon at a West Virginia church to honor 362 men who had died in a mining explosion. However, it was only meant to be a single celebration not an annual holiday. When Sonora Smart Dodd decided she wanted to make an annual holiday for fathers, she petitioned her idea to churches, shopkeepers and the government, and it worked. The first Father’s Day was only statewide, but it was held on July 19, 1910. The holiday’s popularity slowly gathered momentum.

How Was Father’s Day Perceived?

While most people loved the idea of Mother’s Day, many people scoffed at the idea of Father’s Day. Many people argued that because fathers didn’t have the same sentimental appeal as mothers, it would never work. Even many fathers didn’t like the idea of the holiday. They felt it was an attempt to stifle their manliness. They also felt the holiday was a joke and too commercial, which was worsened by the fact that most of the gifts would be paid for the father himself. Luckily, Father’s Day held on, and in 1972, Richard Nixon made it a federal holiday.

What Is Parent’s Day?

During the 1920s and 1930s, a movement started to combine Mother’s Day and Father’s Day into Parent’s Day. The argument was that both parents deserved to be celebrated together. However, the movement quickly fizzled out because as the depression worsened, retailers promoted Father’s Day harder to generate more revenue, and once World War II, began, Father’s Day became a way to celebrate American troops.

Father’s Day may have had little momentum at first, but now it is widely accepted as a time to cherish dads. Now that you know a little more about the holiday, use it to show a father in your life that you care.

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