The History of Father’s Day

Happy Father’s Day! Today I want to do three things: 1. Spread the Father’s Day love. 2. Share the history of Father’s Day with you. 3. Spend the day with the best father in the whole wide world. (Ok, I’m biased.)

Cake for my dad.

Cake for my father from Quebrada Baking Company in Arlington, Mass.

The History

One forward-thinking daughter Mrs. Grace Golden Clayton started Father’s Day in Fairmont, West Virginia on July 5, 1908 to remember her recently deceased father and the 210 fathers who died in the Monongah Mining disaster on December 6, 1907. Clayton chose July 5 because it was the Sunday nearest to her father’s birthday.

A Father’s Day Timeline:

1908: The first father’s day is celebrated in Fairmont, West Virginia.
1910: Sonora Dodd from Spokane invents her own celebration of Father’s Day inspired by Mother’s day.
1913: A bill to accord national recognition of the holiday is introduced in Congress.
1916: President Woodrow Wilson wants to declare Father’s day a national holiday, but Congress resists fearing commercialization.
1957: Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith writes a proposal accusing Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers, thus “[singling] out just one of our two parents”.
1966: President Lyndon B. Johnson issues the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day.
1972: President Richard Nixon signs Father’s day into law.
1972: One attendant to Nixon’s proclamation of Father’s Day starts to recover Clayton’s legacy.
Today: Fairmont, West Virginia is promoted as the “Home of the First Father’s Day Service”.

Enjoy the day! Leave me a note and tell me how you celebrate the day. I love hearing about family traditions.



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Filed under father, for fun, giving thanks, gratitude, holidays, Lauren Muscarella, mother, parent, positive tradition

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