The History Of Father’s Day Celebration

Father's Day

Father’s Day is celebrated every September in Australia. The day gives thanks to all that dads do for us every day. It celebrates the diversity of what it means to be a father, and gives dad a reason to kick back and relax.

But where did Father’s Day come from? In this article we’ll be exploring the historical significance of Father’s Day and looking at how the tradition has come about and changed throughout the years.

The history of Father’s Day is barely 100 years old. The origins of the movement can be traced back to 1910. It is a relatively young, but well-established tradition throughout most of the Western World. It began in the USA when Ms Sonora Louise Smart Dodd observed the growing success of Ms Anna Jarvis’ plight to have a Mother’s Day celebration recognised in the US.

Father's Day HistoryMs Dodd, who was the daughter of William Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran, thought that fathers should be equally honoured as mothers when it came to their parental celebrations.

Mr Smart looked after all 6 children of the Smart family as their mother died in childbirth of their 6th child. Mr Smart took care of the children with the upmost love and affection, which Ms Dodd thought should be equally recognised in parallel with the celebration of a mother’s love on Mother’s Day.

She began to organise events with the YMCA, local churches, and the Spokane Ministerial Association (Spokane being the town which she was from). The celebration began locally at first in 1910. However, in 1916, then President Woodrow Wilson supported the idea, endorsing it, but never making it a national observance. Decades later, in 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation which declared the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day (different dates are appropriated in different parts of the world). However, it wasn’t until Nixon in 1972 that it was formally declared a permanent national observance.

There was some struggle in reaching this point, however. After some minor issues in the US Congress, where it was stated that celebrating Mother’s Day but not Father’s Day was “the most grievous insult imaginable” (Senator Margaret Chase, 1952), the observance was made permanent.

While both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day were observed by churches at first, they’re considered secular holidays in the modern day. Many countries celebrate Father’s Day including; Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, France, Germany, UK, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Canada, and India to name a few. In more Catholic places, the date is celebrated in conjunction with St Joseph’s Day on March 19th.

Modern celebrations of Father’s Day are preceded by months of build-up and advertisement for the gifts given on Father’s Day. In Australia it’s estimated that a combined $761 million will be spent on dads, making it one of the most lucrative days of the year!

Here at Wannabees a unique indoor play centre in Sydney, we will celebrate father’s day on the second Sunday of. Dad and grand dads will have free admission and a special menu will be on offer. Our Wannabees photographer will be around to snap some photos as the action happens. Check the event’s official page for details

How do you celebrate father’s day? Leave us a comment below.

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