Monday, June 13, 2016

History of Father’s Day

Origin of Father’s Day
In July of 1908, a church in West Virginia held a special Sunday sermon which was the nation’s first event honoring fathers. The sermon was in memory of 362 men that died due to a  nearby coal mine explosion. The following year, a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd was trying to rally support for a day celebrating male parents. She went around to government officials, local churches, and the YMCA in hopes of making it an official day of celebration. Sonora was successful in her efforts because in 1910, Washington State celebrated the nation’s first Father’s Day. From there, Father’s Day began to slowly spread. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge urged all state governments to start observing Father’s Day, however many people were opposed to the holiday. One historian wrote, “They scoffed at the holiday’s sentimental attempts to domesticate manliness with flowers and gift-giving, or they derided the proliferation of such holidays as a commercial gimmick to sell more products – often paid for by the father himself.”

Did you know? According to, economists estimate that Americans spend more than $1 billion each year on Father’s Day gifts.

In the 1920s and 1930s, a movement began to get rid of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day altogether in favor of a single holiday called Parents’ Day. Every year on Mother’s Day, pro-parents groups protested that “both parents should be loved and respected together.” The Depression derailed this effort to combine and de-commercialize the holidays. Struggling retailers and advertisers redoubled their efforts to make Father’s Day a “second Christmas” for men. They promoted material goods such as hats, socks, pipes and tobacco. When World War II began, advertisers began to argue that celebrating Father’s Day was a way to honor American troops. In 1972, Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday at last.

Visit Museum of World Treasures this Sunday for Father's Day. We are open 12 PM - 5PM.  We are offering free admission to fathers accompanied by their child(ren).


No comments:

Post a Comment