Tomorrow here in Australia it's Father's Day so I thought I would post about the orgins of the day.
Modern version of Father's Day celebration originated in United States of America and thereafter the tradition spread in countries around the world. The world owes thanks to Ms Sonora Louise Smart Dodd a loving daughter from Spokane, Washington as it is because of her struggle that Father's Day saw the light of the day.
The idea of Father's Day celebration originated in Sonora's mind when she per chance listened to Mother's Day sermon in 1909. Fairly mature at the age 27, Sonora pondered if there is a day to honor mother then why not for father? Sonora felt strongly for fathers because of the affection she received from her own father Mr William Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran. Sonora's mother died while childbirth when she was just 16. Mr Smart raised the newborn and five other children with love and care.
Inspired by Ms Anna Jarvis's struggle to promote Mother's Day, Ms Dodd began a rigorous campaign to celebrate Father's Day in US. The Spokane Ministerial Association and the local Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) supported Sonora's cause. As a result Spokane celebrated its first Father's Day on June 19, 1910. Though there was initial hesitation the idea gained gradual popularity all over US and Fathers Day came to be celebrated in cities across the country.
Looking at the heightened popularity of Father's Day in US, President Woodrow Wilson approved of this idea in 1916. President Calvin Coolidge too supported the idea of a national Father's Day in 1924 to, "establish more intimate relations between fathers and their children and to impress upon fathers the full measure of their obligations". After a protracted struggle of over four decades, President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father's Day in 1966. Then in 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father's Day to be held on the third Sunday of June. Sonora Smart Dodd was honored for her contribution at the World's Fair in Spokane in 1974. Mrs. Dodd died in 1978 at age 96.
In Australia, Father's Day is celebrated with much enthusiasm and joy. What is noticeable about Father's Day in Australia is its unique time of celebration. Unlike in US and several other countries where Father's Day is celebrated on the Third Sunday of June, Fathers Day in Australia is celebrated on the first Sunday of September. Hence, the date of Father's Day is never fixed.
Fathers Day celebration in Australia takes place in the same way as in several other countries around the world. Taking opportunity of the occasion, people express gratitude for father and thank them for all their care and support. Most often children gift flowers, neckties, chocolates or other gift to honor their dearest dad. Though the occasion is celebrated privately in households, several clubs and societies take initiative to organize special programmes to encourage and entertain people. Breakfast meeting for families is a common feature of Father Day celebration in Australia. Various types of games and activities are organized in such Father's Day get-togethers to strengthen the bond of love between father and a child.