"It doesn't matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was."
- Anne Sexton, American poet
Fathers are no longer a blip on the parenting radar. Taking a more integral role in the home has won them a greater respect and higher visibility in the responsibility of shaping young lives. This weekend we honor dads, either the ones men have become, or the ones we ourselves grew from.
The movement for Father's Day is credited to Sonora Dodd of Spokane, Wash., after she heared a church sermon for Mother's Day in 1909. Dodd, who was raised by her father after her mother's death in child birth, requested her pastor initiate the celebration of a Father's Day on her own father's birthday, June 5. As there wasn't enough time to complete a sermon by then, it was moved out to the third Sunday in June.
The Father's Day movement originally struggled as Dodd moved from Spokane to attend the Art Institute of Chicago, but upon her return in the 1930s, she renewed interest by gaining support from the New York Associated Men's Wear Retailers. Much resistance faced the holiday initially as many Americans feared it was a cover for commercial profit as retailers continued to promote through advertising. (Courtesy of Wikipedia)
Recognition as an official national observance didn't happen until 1972 when signed into law by President Richard Nixon and it's been nothing but gifts of beer, barbecues and neckties ever since.
Though the traditional roles of fathers evolve and change with each generation, the purpose and importance of recognizing the efforts of great men on Father's Day remains.
Fun facts to share with dad, as if he didn't already know...
- Although more phone calls are made on Mother's Day, Father's Day owns the day in which there are the highest number of collect calls. (Snopes.com)
- There are more than 70 million fathers in the USA. (History.com)
- As of 2011, there were approximately 176,000 stay-at-home fathers. (census.gov)
- It's estimated that Americans spend $1 billion annually on Father's Day gifts compared to $18.6 billion spent on moms. (History.com)
- According to most online polls, Cliff Huxtable reigns as favorite TV dad. Howard Cunningham, Ward Cleaver and Charles Ingalls also make the list. Frank Costanza, Jack Bauer and Al Bundy are included in TV's worst. (Art of Manliness)
- Unofficially, what Dad really wants for Father's Day is some time to do something for himself and a nap. (TheSalemNews.com)