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Why we celebrate Father’s Day

Sunday Jun 16, 2024 15:54 pm



By NEWS EDITOR
Awka,   Features


Father’s Day celebrates and honors the men who have embraced the essential role of fatherhood. On this day, we also thank fathers and father figures (uncles, grandfathers) for the sacrifices they make, for embracing the responsibility of nurturing and raising children, and for their devotion to their families. 

When Is Father’s Day 2024?

Father’s Day is celebrated annually on the third Sunday in June in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, India, and a number of other countries around the world.

Many countries celebrate this holiday at other times of the year. In Australia, for example, Father’s Day is held on the first Sunday of September; in Norway, Sweden, and Finland, on the second Sunday in November; and in some Catholic countries, on March 19 (St. Joseph’s Day).

Father’s Day Ideas 

This year, Father’s Day falls a few days before the summer solstice (June 20, 2024), which makes it the perfect time to kick off the summer season with a father-focused barbecue, camping trip, beach day, or other outdoor activity!

Who “Invented” Father’s Day?

The first known Father’s Day service occurred in Fairmont, West Virginia, on July 5, 1908, after the worst mining accident in U.S. history. 

This horrific accident killed more than 360 men and boys and left about 1,000 children fatherless. Mrs. Grace Golden Clayton wanted to honor the many fathers who had died with a Sunday service in Fairmont. 

Mrs. Clayton was the daughter of a dedicated reverend who had died in 1896, so she knew what it was like to lose a father.

Father’s Day Gains Momentum

Although the Fairmont service was the first known to honor fathers, it did not turn into an annual event. 

Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd is credited with helping Father’s Day become a U.S. national holiday. Her story began when she sat listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909. Mrs. Dodd thought that it might be nice to honor fathers as well. 

Mrs. Dodd’s father, William Smart, had raised his SIX children alone on his farm in Washington after his wife died giving birth. Mrs. Dodd proposed to the Spokane Ministerial Association and the YMCA that they celebrate a “father’s day.” She chose the 5th of June because it was her father’s birthday.

The idea received strong support, but the good ministers of Spokane asked that the day be changed to give them extra time to prepare sermons on the unexplored subject of fathers. The first Father’s Day in Spokane, Washington, was observed on June 19, 1910 (the third Sunday in June) and became an annual event there. Soon, other towns had their own celebrations.

Despite widespread support, Father’s Day was not a permanent national holiday for many years. It wasn’t until 1972 that President Richard Nixon signed a law declaring that Father’s Day be celebrated annually on the third Sunday in June. It has been an official, permanent national holiday ever since.

Credit: almanac.com



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