Father’s Day is celebrated almost all over the world to honor and commemorate fathers or forefathers. In the Roman Catholic tradition, Father’s Day is celebrated on Saint Joseph’s Day, though in most countries Father’s Day is a secular celebration.
In the United States, the driving force behind the establishment of the celebration of Father’s Day was Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd. Her father, the Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, as a single parent raised his six children in Spokane, Washington. She was inspired by Anna Jarvis’s efforts to establish Mother’s Day. Although she initially suggested June 5, the anniversary of her father’s death, she did not provide the organizers with enough time to make arrangements, and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday in June. The first Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, in Spokane, Washington.
It should be noted that Fairmont, West Virginia, not far from Anna Jarvis’s home town of Grafton, claims to have held the first official remembrance two years earlier at Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church on July 5, 1908.
Unofficial support from such figures as William Jennings Bryan was immediate and widespread. Woodrow Wilson was personally so feted by his family in 1916, and Calvin Coolidge recommended it as a national holiday in 1924. The all-male U.S. Congress, however, was mindful that passing a measure so favorable to males could be seen as a conflict of interest. In 1966, Lyndon Johnson made Father’s Day a holiday to be celebrated on the third Sunday of June. The holiday was not officially recognized until the presidency of Richard Nixon in 1972. In recent times, Father’s Day has been fully embraced, beloved fathers receive gifts like sports tickets, handmade crafts, loving and hilarious Fathers Day eCards, etc.
More reverse charge (collect) calls are made on Father’s Day than any other day.
Also see Mother’s Day.
(Source: The Book of Useless Information by Noel Botham)