The tradition of Father’s Day is one hundred and two years old this seventeenth of June. Though only established as an official holiday in the United States in 1972, the celebration dates back to 1910, when Sonora Smart-Dodd of Spokane, Washington decided that there should also be a holiday to celebrate fathers’ contributions to the family, as there was for mothers, created just a few years earlier. Unfortunately the concept was met with some derision, whereas Mother’s Day was readily accepted throughout the United States and subsequently the world.
Though various presidents recognized the day over the following decades, celebrated on the third Sunday in June (loosely associated with the date Sonora Smart-Dodd’s own father passed away), including Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge and Lyndon B. Johnson, it was President Nixon who finally signed the holiday into law. After that point it was soon readily accepted, and is now celebrated in over one hundred countries, though most popular in the United States and the United Kingdom. Today, as opposed to a century ago, fathers and mothers alike play hands-on parental roles, and so it is perhaps more than ever appropriate that fathers should be recognized for their contributions. Why not show your appreciation this year!