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Holiday Insight: Father's Day

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General Information

Fathers are special people. Most of them work long, hard hours to support their families and give them the best life possible. Dads play baseball and football with their sons and take their daughters on special outings. They also wash the car, fix the plumbing, and do all those other things that may not otherwise get done around the house.

That's why it's important to remember Dad each year on the holiday set aside to honor him...Father's Day. Each June, families treat Dad to dinner out or a special day of Dad-centered activities. Many give Dad the day off from his numerous responsibilities, allowing Father to just sit back and relax and enjoy a free day.

Some shower their father with greeting cards and, if he's far away, an e-card is a great way to thank Dad for all he's done. Mom might cook him a special meal and perhaps the kids will wash the car or mow the lawn. Whichever way you choose to honor your dad on Father's Day, make sure he knows just how special he is to you.

History of Father's Day

The origin of Father's Day isn't terribly clear and there are several stories that coincide with the beginning of the observance of this holiday. The most widely accepted one comes from Spokane, Washington.

Spokane resident Sonora Smart Dodd pondered the role of her father during a Mother's Day sermon in 1909. Sonora's mother had died was she was just a young child so that particular holiday was always bittersweet for her. She did, however, have tremendous pride in her father, a Civil War veteran, who raised six children by himself after his wife died during the birth of their last child. Sonora wanted to find a similar way to honor fathers.

The story notes that she asked her minister to preach a sermon on the fine qualities of fatherhood in time for her dad's birthday, June 5th. With no time to prepare, the preacher moved the sermon to June 19th, the third Sunday in the month. Others joined in on the celebration, preparing special foods and other tributes to the fathers in the congregation.

After this initial celebration, the state of Washington continued to honor fathers each year on the third Sunday in June. Just a handful of years later, other states began joining the tribute and rallied Congress for an official holiday. However, it wasn't until 1924 that Calvin Coolidge made the holiday a national event by declaring it a day to "establish more intimate relations between fathers and their children and to impress upon fathers the full measure of their obligations."

President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed Father's Day an official national holiday in 1966 and in 1972, Richard Nixon signed into law a permanent U.S. Father's Day to be observed on the third Sunday of June.

Date of Celebration

Father's Day is celebrated annually on the third Sunday in June.

DateJune 19June 18June 17June 15June 21June 20
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