Happy Father’s Day! Today is Father’s Day in the United States and so it is great day for us to celebrate and remember fathers while discussing the cultural and historical significance of this holiday in the United States.
This is not just any old day for celebrating father’s; this is a national holiday in the United States (just like Mother’s Day). According to most accounts the person who is credited with creating this holiday in the United States is a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd from Spokane Washington. This woman helped create the first American celebration of Father’s Day on June 19, 1910 to celebrate her own father, a Civil War veteran and single parent of six. A bill* to give national recognition to this holiday was first introduced in the United States Congress in 1913. Then in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson traveled to Spokane Washington to speak at a Father’s Day celebration there and he expressed interest in making this day a national holiday. Multiple times in the years after 1916 the United States Congress decided not to make Father’s Day an official holiday, but in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson made a presidential proclamation** designating the third Sunday in June would be known as Father’s Day. Another six years later, this day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law.
Today in the United States this holiday is mostly celebrated in the home (not in public celebrations with speeches or parades) by giving fathers cards and gifts. Father’s Day cards are often funny and portray*** fathers doing things that we American’s typically think of as fatherly activities: mowing the lawn, going fishing, fixing items around the house, watching sports games, hunting, etc. Common Father’s Day gifts in the United States include: ties, sports gear, tools, and even a barbecue grill (if you are a really lucky dad).
Here is one last interesting fact about the grammar of this holiday. Even though the name “Father’s Day” would literally mean “a day belonging to a father” we generally think of this day as being “a day belonging to all fathers,” which should be written Fathers’ Day under normal English punctuation guidelines. So, according to the rules of English grammar all of us in the United States are miss writing this holiday, but this is just the way it is done even if it doesn’t make sense. This day is a day for all fathers though and I hope you all can celebrate it with your family.
*bill = a draft of a proposed law presented to a legislative body
**proclamation = an official public announcement
***portray = represent