The Origins of Father’s Day in the United States

Father’s Day begins similarly to Mother’s Day, but there are differing accounts of who invented Father’s Day. Grace Clayton organized the first Father’s Day celebration, which took place in West Virginia in July of 1908. A terrible mining accident occurred while she was grieving the loss of her father, killing 361 men, 250 of whom were fathers. She proposed a memorial service to honor the lives of the fathers who had died in her local church.

She chose the closest Sunday to her father’s birthday. Unfortunately, due to a lack of advertising and the celebration of Independence Day the night before, West Virginia did not remember this holiday. The celebration was forgotten and never celebrated again due to a lack of promotion and the initial sermon not making the magazine.

Sonora Dodd, on the other hand, is commonly credited with Father’s Day. She started to promote the holiday in honor of her father, who raised six children as a single parent after his wife died during childbirth.

She chooses June because it is her father’s birthday, and although she had hoped to celebrate on June 5th, she did not give the organizer adequate notice, and the event was rescheduled for the third Sunday in June instead.

While several presidents attempted to make it a nationally recognized holiday, Congress repeatedly overturned the bill, fearing that the holiday would become too commercialized. Presidents Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and Lyndon B. Johnson all tried to make the holiday a national holiday. Since Congress would not pass the bill, President Coolidge suggested that the states celebrate Father’s Day on their own. That was in 1927, and little more was heard about the holiday until 1957, when Senator Margaret Chase accused Congress of honoring Mothers while ignoring Fathers for 40 years, and demanded that they honor all parents fairly or not honor them. Though her letter had some effect, the holiday was not officially recognized until 1972, with President Richard Nixon’s signature, 62 years after the first Father’s Day celebration.

The holiday has been embraced around the world, just like Mother’s Day, and although the official date varies from country to country, it is also a day to celebrate fathers and father figures. It has now surpassed Christmas as the fifth most popular card-based holiday. While Mother’s Day is the busiest day for phone calls, Father’s Day is the busiest day for collect calls in the United States, all calls on both holidays appear to last longer.

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