Who’s your daddy? The history of Father’s Day

It's Father's Day — and in its honour, we're sharing the history of the holiday and why today's the day we celebrate dads everywhere.
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Who’s your daddy? The history of Father’s Day

It's Father's Day — and in its honour, we're sharing the history of the holiday and why today's the day we celebrate dads everywhere.
Facebook
Twitter
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THE BACKGROUND

He’s your booster, your bodyguard and your biggest fan. He’s your dad and all (corny) jokes aside, there’s nobody quite like him. 

Thankfully, today (a.k.a. the third Sunday in June) is the day to show your darling pops some well-deserved love. 

Bring on the barbecue, Bullet readers. It’s time to celebrate dads!

FATHER TIME

North American Father’s Day began in the early 20th century as a heartfelt tribute from a grateful daughter.

After listening to a church sermon about Mother’s Day in May 1909, Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, was moved to honour her father, Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran and single dad of six kids. 

Dodd held the country’s first Father’s Day commemoration one year later on June 19, 1910, at a local YMCA while preachers around Spokane delivered Father’s Day sermons of their own. 

News of the holiday eventually spread beyond Washington State and soon, people from across the United States began writing Dodd to see how they could organize Father’s Day celebrations in their own communities.   

MAKING IT OFFICIAL

Unlike its maternal counterpart, which was established in 1914 (read more about that here), Father’s Day took a long and winding road to achieve official holiday status. 

Despite receiving presidential support early on from both Woodrow Wilson and Calvin Coolidge, it wasn’t until 1966, when Lyndon Johnson proclaimed the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day, and 1972 when Richard Nixon made that proclamation permanent, that the holiday gained mainstream acceptance.

IT’S A DAD, DAD WORLD

Think North Americans are the only ones serving up some major #dadlove? Think again.

From South America to Asia, places around the globe go to great lengths each year to celebrate pops. Check out what we mean:

• Italy

Celebrated in mid-March, Italian Father’s Day is also called “St. Joseph’s Day” to commemorate the figure many believe to be the earthly father of Jesus Christ. It’s widely celebrated across the country and features many traditional dishes including the cream puff-esque dessert, bigné di San Giuseppe.

• Brazil

If you’re a meat lover, Dia dos Pais is right up your alley as Brazilian families typically celebrate by heading out to a churrascaria (read: Brazilian steakhouse) for a dad-friendly feast. Don’t worry, you still have time to book your flight: Father’s Day isn’t until August 11.

• Japan

Similar to North America, Father’s Day in Japan is celebrated on the third Sunday in June. Kids typically give their dads homemade gifts while the whole family enjoys a meal of seafood and sake (for the adults). 

• Germany

Known in German as Männertag or “Men’s Day,” this boozefest raucous holidayinvolves men (and not just those with kids!) carting wagons packed with food and alcohol around town, ending with a picnic. Prost!

• Australia

Father’s Day Down Under falls later in the year (on the first Sunday in September, to be exact) which coincides with the first weekend of spring.

FATHER FIGURES

Stumped on what to buy your dad this Father’s Day? Give him the gift of knowledge with some timely and dad-inspired trivia

• According to Statistics Canada, there are approximately 8.6 million fathers in Canada (including biological, adoptive and stepfathers).

• Father’s Day spending in the U.S. is projected to reach an all-time high of $16 billion, according to the National Retail Federation. That’s up nearly 70% since 2009.

• Hooray for dad jokes! Hallmark says humour cards account for about 25% of Father’s Day sales.

• A 2017 survey revealed that 81% of men would trade a new gadget or toolset for quality time with their spouse. Time to book a babysitter!

From our family to yours, hope you have a wonderful Father’s Day!


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