Father’s Day Celebrations Have Honored Dads for 113 Years

Ways to Celebrate or Remember Dad on Father's Day

Your dad taught you how to ride a bike, throw a ball and he probably took you to your first sports game.

Now it’s time to show him some love. Father’s Day is a time for families to create new memories and thank dad for all the nice things he does for you throughout the year.

The holiday got its start 113 years ago when the daughter of a single father of six, proposed the idea of honoring dads to her church’s leaders.

A century later, children have found many ways to celebrate with their father whether it’s having a barbeque, taking him out to dinner, or organizing a fun activity. Still, the best way to make dad feel appreciated is to simply spend some time with him.

The First Father’s Day

This year, Father’s Day falls on Sunday, June 18th, but the idea of honoring dad with his own day wasn’t initially accepted by men, according to the Almanac. It made sense to them to give flowers to women, but some thought, why would a dad want this kind of attention? Also, in a male-dominated society, the gesture seemed inappropriate to most early 20th-Century fathers.

However, Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington came up with the idea to create a day for fathers after she attended a Mother’s Day service in 1909 at Central Methodist Church. Her dad, William Jackson Smart, was a Civil War veteran and had lost his wife Ellen during childbirth in 1898. He became a single parent to her and five brothers. Sonora admired her father and wanted to honor him and other dads. She shared the idea with the Spokane Ministerial Alliance about the idea.

So the very first Father’s Day took place on June 19, 1910, in Spokane, Washington. Sonora organized an event where presents were given to handicapped fathers. Also, the YMCA asked boys to decorate their lapels with red roses for living fathers and white roses for those who had passed. The city’s ministers also focused their homilies on fatherhood.

While President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day an official national holiday in May 1914, Father’s Day wasn’t an official national holiday until 1972 in a proclamation by President Richard Nixon.

Father’s Day Today

Father's Day Today

Father’s Day in the 21st Century has evolved into a day when children show appreciation for the fathers as well as father figures who are in their lives. To make this day special for your dad, we put together some suggestions:

  1. Cook or barbeque his favorite meal, organize a picnic, pick up a meal or take him out to his favorite restaurant.
  2. The weekend is a great time for fun family outings. Try a favorite museum, a sporting event, a church service, or outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, a beach day, tennis, biking, surfing, or golfing.
  3. Give a thoughtful gift to dad such as a book from his favorite author, a photo book with family pictures, a new gadget for his hobby, or a personalized item.
  4. Spend quality time with your father. This could be playing a game of chess, working on his classic car, or other projects such as gardening together, sightseeing, or visiting a favorite place together.
  5. A heartfelt letter to dad or photo book is perfect for dad, especially if you can’t get together.
  6. If your father has passed away, Father’s Day is a time to remember him. There are ancestry websites where you can take a peek into his past. Or make a social media post to share something special you remember about dad. Spend time with other family members at his favorite place.

Remember, it’s the thought that counts, and your dad will appreciate any effort you make to show your love and appreciation for him.

Johnson Attorney’s Group would like to wish all dads a happy Father’s Day.

James Johnson

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