Friday, June 8, 2012

The History of Father's Day

It's almost here! Father's Day! The day we honor dads. So when and how did Father's Day start?

It started with Mother's Day, founded by Anna Jarvis in 1909 as a commemoration of the moms who had sons who died in the Civil War. 

Sonora Smart Dodd, daughter of Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart (a single parent who raised 6 children in Spokane, WA), heard a sermon about Jarvis' Mother's Day in 1909. She encouraged her pastor that there should be a similar holiday to honor fathers and she suggested June 5th, her father's birthday. However, the pastor didn't have a enough time to prepare a sermon so the celebration was postponed to the 3rd Sunday of June in 1910 and that's when it's celebrated today.

Men like flowers, too!
At first, it didn't have much success. Ms. Dodd stopped promoting the event in the 1920s because she was in college and even in Spokane, it lost popularity. When she returned to Spokane in the 30s, she started promoting it again and it grew to a national awareness catching the eye of certain trade groups.

Commercialism Got It Going

Makers of ties, pipes and other traditional gifts for men, jumped on the bandwagon. The New York Associated Men's Wear Retailers set up the "Father's Day Council" which aided Ms. Dodd efforts. This commercialism may have hindered the holiday from getting official Federal Government recognition.

Congress Ignores Dads

Since 1913 supporters of having Father's Day recognized as a national holiday have tried to get Congress to declare it so. Presidents Wilson & Coolidge tried but were unsuccessful. Congress feared it would become too commercialized!

Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith in 1957 accused Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers, "[singling] out just one of our two parents."

It wasn't until 1966 when President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation which honored fathers and designated the 3rd Sunday in June as Father's Day. Still, it was President Richard Nixon who in 1972 finally signed it into law.

Now, over 20 countries around the world celebrate Father's Day in one form or another.

So what are you going to get Dad for Father's Day? How about flowers? Men like flowers too! If you're near Page or Lake Powell, AZ, give us a call and we'll put together a special arrangement just for him! We also have great "guy gifts" like  hunting gifts, fishing gifts, golf gifts, chess sets, aftershave sets, mugs, etc. We ship anywhere!

A Treasured Occasion

629 Elm Street, Page, AZ 86040

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