I’ll bet you didn’t know this, I know I didn’t, but it’s roots actually go back to the 10th century and as of July 14, 1570 and Pope Pius V extended it’s use to the entire Roman Rite by his Apostolic Constitution Quo primum. What I am talking about is a day dedicated to St. Joseph (March) representing all fathers. You might call that the first official proclamation of Father’s Day.
Believe it or not, Father’s Day was actually inspired by Mother’s Day. According to history.com ‘The “Mother’s Day” we celebrate has it’s origins in the peace-and-reconciliation campaigns of the post-Civil War era. During the 1860s, at the urging of activist Ann Reeves Jarvis, one divided West Virginia town celebrated “Mother’s Work Days” that brought together the mothers of Confederate and Union soldiers.’ In 1914 the second Sunday in May was officially designated as Mother’s Day by proclamation of President Woodrow Wilson.
A West Virginia church sponsored an event on July 5, 1908 which was a sermon memorializing 362 men who perished in a coal mine explosion in December 1907. It wasn’t meant to be an annual event, but a single day’s observation.
Sonora Smart Dodd tried to start a day in Spokane, Washington, honoring fathers in 1909. The idea came from her desire to honor her own father and all of the fathers who mean so much to their family. Her father was a widower who raised six children by himself. It took some time but the first state-wide Father’s Day celebration in the U.S. was held in Washington state on June 19,1910. President Calvin Coolidge urged state governments to observe Father’s Day in 1924.
Quoting wikipedia.com ‘Americans resisted the holiday during a few decades, perceiving it as just an attempt by merchants to replicate the commercial success of Mother’s Day, and newspapers frequently featured cynical and sarcastic attacks and jokes. But the trade groups didn’t give up: they kept promoting it and even incorporated the jokes into their adverts (advertisements), and they eventually succeeded. By the mid 1980s the Father’s Council wrote that “(…) [Father’s Day] has become a Second Christmas for all the men’s gift-oriented industries.”‘
From history.com ‘Many men, however, continued to disdain the day. As one historian writes “they scoffed at the holiday’s sentimental attempts to domesticate manliness with flowers and gift-giving or they derided the proliferation of such holidays as a commercial gimmick to sell more products-often paid for by the father himself.”‘
Of course Father’s Day is a regular feature of our personal holidays. To many the gift-giving and receiving is not as important as the close relationship they have with their father. So Happy Father’s Day to all fathers every day not just on the third Sunday in June.
If you have an idea for a future topic let me know what you would like me to talk about or explain. You can comment below or email me at: [email protected].