It is the day before Father’s Day. The holiday that takes a backseat to Mother’s Day. Why is that?
I went to Wikipedia and checked out the history. The first public celebration for Father’s Day was July 5, 1908 in Fairmont, West Virginia. Here is the background of that celebration.
Grace Golden Clayton was mourning the loss of her father, when in December 1907, the Monongah Mining Disaster in nearby Monongah killed 361 men, 250 of them fathers, leaving around a thousand fatherless children. Clayton suggested that her pastor Robert Thomas Webb honor all those fathers.
Does anyone want to guess how soon Father’s day became a national recognized holiday on the 3rd week in June after this 1908 local celebration?
Please make your guess in a comment before checking. (If you already know the answer don’t comment till later.)
In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972. (1972-1908=64 years)
For those who want to know about Mother’s Day.
In 1908, the U.S. Congress rejected a proposal to make Mother’s Day an official holiday, joking that they would also have to proclaim a “Mother-in-law’s Day”. However, owing to the efforts of Anna Jarvis, by 1911 all U.S. states observed the holiday, with some of them officially recognizing Mother’s Day as a local holiday (the first being West Virginia, Jarvis’ home state, in 1910). In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day, held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.
If you are still reading, I would like to wish all the fathers a wonderful day tomorrow. You are not taking a backseat in this post. You are driving the car.