On Mother’s Day, I overheard a man tell his family as they were leaving the restaurant, “Remember now, I want y’all to do the same thing for me on Father’s Day.” Everyone laughed, but the reality is we are all too familiar with the fact that many men feel cheated when compared to moms.
Watch any sporting event, or award show and you’ll hear more shout-outs to mom. To be fair, there are many more absent fathers than mothers, so some of the father snubs are well deserved. But those men who stuck around to help raise their kids—married or not—are just as deserving.
So as a dad, and in the spirit of celebrating Father’s Day, I did a little research to uncover facts that you may not know. Hopefully, it will raise your appreciation for the holiday and add to the conversation around the dinner table or wherever you will be celebrating.
According to a Telegraph article (http://www.telegraph.co.uk) the idea of Father’s Day originated in the U.S. and has been officially celebrated on the third Sunday in June since 1966. However, the movement for a day which celebrated fatherhood began roughly 100 years ago.
Dads around the world actually owe their special observance to at least three women. Sonora Smart Dodd (February 18, 1882 – March 22, 1978), daughter of American Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, was reportedly responsible for the founding of Father's Day.
The first such “Father’s Day” was held in Spokane in 1910, with a number of towns and cities across America later following suit.
However, others credit Grace Golden Clayton, from West Virginia with suggesting a day celebrating fatherhood in 1908. She was inspired after a mine explosion killed more than 360 men – arguing that children needed a time to remember their fathers. Clayton may have been inspired by Anna Jarvis, who established Mother's Day two months prior.
Finally, in 1966, President Lyndon Johnson made the day official. Men will be pleased to know that in 1957, Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote to Congress: “Either we honour both our parents, mother and father, or let us desist from honouring either one.
“But to single out just one of our two parents and omit the other is the most grievous insult imaginable.”
The role of fathers has changed a lot over the years. Dads are now more hands on and take on important jobs once only delegated to moms, like cooking, cleaning, even combing their daughter’s hair. But the most important job still remains—to be a role model and show how a good man acts for both boys and girls.
Fathers play a critical role in developing a child’s self esteem. We see the lack of it played out daily with men and women who try to compensate for it through violence and the use of various drugs.
Now that you have more insight into the effort that went into having a day celebrating fatherhood, hopefully you will appreciate Father’s Day even more. Happy Father’s Day to men everywhere.