When, Why And How Fathers Day Is Celebrated; Here Is The Complete History Of Father’s Day

Father’s Day History: Father’s Day is a celebration for honoring every father along with celebrating fatherhood as well as paternal bonds. It is a special event as it signifies the influence of fathers in society. Initially, the day was proposed by Sonora Dodd of Spokane for the first time in 1909 and became a national holiday 58 years later in 1972.

In the early 20th century, Father’s Day was established in the United States in order to complement Mother’s Day in the honor of fathers, fathering, as well as fatherhood. In the United States, the day is celebrated every year on the third Sunday in the month of June.

Without any doubt, people these days don’t question Father’s Day and don’t see it as a publicity stunt. But back in the days, these things were quite usual and very normal; however, nowadays people don’t give a second thought to this beautiful celebration and enjoy the day by honoring and paying respect to their fathers. It is almost going to be 50 years ever since the third Sunday in June was officially recognized as Father’s Day, passed by President Richard Nixon’s administration.

Father's Day History

Father’s Day History

Even though, Father’s Day is celebrated to honor and pay respect to fatherhood across the world, but do you know it took years of struggle to become a national holiday in the United States until 1972.

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The First Father-Themed Event:

The first-ever celebration for honoring fathers in the U.S. has basically had a dark beginning or origin as the event was held as a memorial day for the 362 men who were killed at the Fairmont Coal Company mines in an explosion at the mining site. The event was held by a West Virginia church and it was observed on 5th July 1908 as father-themed Memorial Day for all those 362 men who lost their lives in a tragic incident.

First Father’s Day Celebration by Sonora Dodd:

For the first time ever, Father’s Day was proposed in the year 1909 by Sonora Dodd of Spokane, Washington to honor her father, William Jackson Smart, who was a Civil War veteran and was also a single dad to his six children. After which the first Father’s Day was celebrated next year in the nation. It was celebrated in the state of Washington on 19th June 1910 at the YMCA in Spokane.

Father’s Day As National Holiday:

However, it was not celebrated as a national holiday in the United States for further 58 years until 1972 when Father’s Day became a nationwide holiday in the country. It all happened during the administration of Richard Nixon who served as President of the US from 1969 to 1974. Earlier, Richard Nixon, the U.S. President Coolidge in 1924 also recommended observing the nationwide holidays on the occasion of Father’s Day, however, he failed to issue a national proclamation which is an official document that makes it a sure-fire deal.

Celebrating Fatherhood in Early Centuries:

In addition to that, the traces of celebrating fatherhood and honoring Fathers are also observed in early centuries, a lot of years before when Father’s Day came into existence. Catholics honored Saint Joseph by celebrating Saint Joseph day or Feast of Saint Joseph since the 10th century which Irish and Polish Catholic communities still celebrates the event till this date on March 19 across the globe.

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“Fathers’ Day” becomes “Father’s Day” in 1913:

In the United States, initially, Dodd called it “Fathers’ Day” on her original petition to form the day as a holiday, but while introducing the bill to the U.S. Congress in 1913, it was spelled “Father’s Day” and that’s how the original name (spelling) changed and it is still the same till this date.

Father's Day History

Mother’s Day Celebration Became Inspiration For Father’s Day

The idea for celebrating Father’s Day was inspired after Anna Jarvis in the early 1900s proposed the celebration of Mother’s Day. And within six years, the day was officially passed by President Woodrow Wilson.

Until 1908, Mother’s Day did not turn into a commercial holiday when social activist Anna Jarvis of Philadelphia, instigated the celebration of Mother’s Day. On 12th May 1907, she held a memorial service in Grafton at her late mother’s church which was located in West Virginia. After that, every state started observing the day for few years until 1914 when it officially became a nationwide celebration and holiday.

Mother’s Day was then approved by President Woodrow Wilson when he signed the resolution in the year 1914 that made the second Sunday in May as a national holiday for the celebration of Mother’s Day for honoring Motherhood. This has impacted to begin the celebration of Father’s Day and inspired others to make it a national holiday just like Mother’s Day in order to pay respect to both father and mother.

Father’s Day International Celebration

Even though Father’s Day is celebrated every year on the third Sunday in the month of June in the United States, but the event is also celebrated across the world on several different dates. In Australia and New Zealand, the day is celebrated on First Sunday in September and this year the event will be observed on September 5, 2021. In Brazil, Father’s Day is observed on Second Sunday on August 8, 2021. In Egypt and United Arab, the day is celebrated on June 21 while in Poland, it is observed on June 23. In the meantime, Father’s Day is observed on the first Sunday in June in Switzerland and it will be celebrated this year on June 6, 2021.

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Father's Day History

When Is Fathers Day: Father’s Day Celebration in the US (Dates)

Last year, Father’s Day was celebrated on 21st June 2020 in the United States, and this year it is going to be observed on 20th June 2021 (Sunday). In the next few years, Father’s Day will be celebrated on 19th June 2022, 18th June 2023, 16th June 2024, 15th June 2025, respectively in the United States.

However, there are many countries that also celebrate Father’s Day on the third Sunday of June just like the U.S. such as India, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Ireland, Mexico, Singapore, among many. This year, all these countries, including the U.S. are going to celebrate Father’s Day on 20th June 2021.

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