Why do we celebrate Father’s Day?
The idea originated in the USA and has been officially celebrated there on the third Sunday in June since 1966. The exact origins of what we now know as Father’s Day are disputed, though we do know the movement for a day which celebrated fatherhood began roughly 100 years ago.
Many believe that Sonora Dodd, from Washington, came up with the idea after hearing a Mother’s Day sermon in 1910 and wondering, not unreasonably, why fathers did not have their own day too. Dodd and her siblings had been raised by their father as a single parent after their mother died in childbirth.
With the local YMCA and the Ministerial Association of Spokane, a city near where she was born, Dodd began a campaign to have the day officially recognised.
The first such “Father’s Day” was held in Spokane in 1910, with a number of towns and cities across America later following suit.
Others say it is Grace Golden Clayton, from Fairmont, West Virginia, who should be credited with the concept of Father’s Day, after she suggested a day celebrating fatherhood in 1908. She put forward the idea following a mine explosion in a nearby town which killed more than 360 men – arguing that children in the town needed a time to remember their fathers. Mrs Clayton may have been inspired by Anna Jarvis’ work to establish Mother’s Day; two months prior.
Now, the day exists simply to remind everyone that dads are great.
According to a recent Netmums survey published this week, the most important job for dads is “to be a role model and show how a good man acts for both boys and girls”.
Eighty-eight per cent of parents surveyed felt that the role of fathers had changed dramatically over the last generation, with a man’s career increasingly seen as being of secondary importance to his family.
All the more reason to spoil your ‘old’ Dad rotten.