Father’s Day is this Sunday and most of us will be spending it with our fathers or the father figures in our life. But, did you ever wonder how Father’s day came to be? Join me as we go over the history of Father’s Day.
During the Middle Ages in Catholic Europe, there was a celebration to honour fathers, fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society. This day fell annually on March 19th (St. Joseph’s Day). This tradition followed the Spanish and Portuguese to the new world. While many Latin American countries still celebrate on March 19th, many countries in Europe and the Americas adopted the USA date.
Outside of the Catholic tradition, Father’s Day wasn’t celebrated in the U.S. until its inauguration in the early 20th century to complement Mother’s Day. There were a few failed attempts to establish Father’s Day in the early 1900’s.
In Fairmont, West Virginia, a woman named Grace Golden Clayton went to her pastor to suggest honouring the fathers that died in the Monongah Mining Disaster. 361 men were killed and 250 of them were fathers. Sadly this event was quickly overshadowed by the celebration of Independence Day and the death of a 16 year old girl. The local church and town council forgot to even promote the event and it was not celebrated again for years.
Jane Addams proposed a citywide celebration in Chicago, but she was turned down.
There was a Father’s Day celebration in Vancouver, Washington in 1912. They believed they were the first to celebrate, but soon discovered that they followed a 1911 suggestion by the Portland Oregonian.
In 1930’s, Sonora Smart Dodd started to promote Father’s Day to raise awareness at a national level. She had help from the trade groups that would benefit from the day. But it would take over 40 years before President Richard Nixon finally signed a law to make it a permanent national holiday in 1972.
This was just a very brief history of Father’s Day. If you wish to learn more, check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father%27s_Day and get a much more detail history of the day.
Everyone at On-Hold Marketing would like to wish all the fathers and father figures a Happy Father’s Day!
“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” – Jim Valvano