Father’s Day is not a Federal holiday but a National holiday and in the United States celebrated on the third Sunday in June. Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, is considered the founder of this holiday. Her father, a Civil War soldier, raised her and her five siblings after their mother died in childbirth. She is credited with coming up with the idea in 1909 while listening to a sermon about Mother’s Day, which was just beginning to gain acceptance as a recognized holiday.
This day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, the month of Dodd’s father’s birthday, thanks to the support of local church authorities. U.S. President Calvin Coolidge supported the celebration in 1924, and in 1966 President Lyndon B. Johnson honored the day with a proclamation. When President Richard Nixon signed a law making the third Sunday in June Father’s Day, the day was declared a national holiday.
Simultaneously with this celebration, Juneteenth National Independence Day is also celebrated on the third Sunday of June.
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Father’s Day has been commercialized by sending greeting cards and gifts, although it used to be primarily a religious occasion. Some people follow the tradition of wearing a red rose to show that their father is still alive, and a white rose to show that he has passed away. Often other men are honored on this day, such as grandfathers or uncles who have taken on parental duties. Some Catholics celebrate March 19 as a day of honor for their fathers, St. Joseph’s Day.
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What do people do on Father’s Day?
Father’s Day is an opportunity to recognize and honor your father’s influence on your life. Many people send their fathers cards, gifts, or both. Sports equipment, electronic devices, outdoor cooking utensils, and DIY tools are typical Father’s Day gifts.
Since Father’s Day is a relatively new event, different families celebrate it in different ways. These can be as simple as a phone call or a congratulatory message, or as elaborate as a gathering to honor all the “dads” in a particular extended family. Fathers, stepfathers, fathers-in-law, grandfathers, great-grandfathers, and even other male relatives can serve as father figures. Many schools and Sunday schools help their students create homemade cards or small gifts for their fathers in the days and weeks leading up to Father’s Day.
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