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Father's Day: A Brief History

Photos of dads with their children in Norton.

Norton's own Bill Gouveia wrote a  in the past saying how fathers are always being cheated on their special day. After some digging, I discovered that this just might be true.

Mother's Day became an official holiday in 1908. You would think a natural step would be to proclaim a day for fathers soon after. However, all the dads out there had to wait until about 60 years later.

Though the first observance of Father's Day is credited to Sonora Dodd who was influenced by the idea of Mother's Day from Anna Jarvis, it is rumored that the original day took place July 5, 1908 in response to 210 fathers who were lost Dec. 6 in the Monongah mining disaster in Fairmont, West Virginia on July 5, 1908. Grace Golden Clayton, who organized the event, chose the Sunday nearest to the birthday of her recently deceased father.

Two years later, Dodd, of Spokane, Washington organized her own Father's Day, influenced by Jarvis' idea of Mother's Day, which was a response to her mother's death. A bill to accord national recognition of the holiday was introduced in Congress in 1913. Apparently the hold up was because congress feared it would become commercialized. Which would never happen, right?

Let's see... Mother's Day became a national holiday in 1914. Hallmark was founded four years later...

Anyways, in 1957 Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote a proposal accusing congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers, thus "[singling] out just one of our two parents." So to all you fathers out there, don't say us women never did anything for you, aside from helping to make you a father in the first place.

It wasn't until 1966 when President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed Father's Day a national holiday. In 1972, President Richard Nixon signed the proclamation. 

So the next time you dads silently cringe at another tie or tool, just think...Hallmark could have prevented you from having your just desserts at all!

On behalf of everyone at Norton Patch, we wish all the dads out there a Happy Father's Day!

Jay June 19, 2011 at 02:07 PM
Great group of guys! Happy fathers day

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