Yes, Mothers Day was in fact the inspiration for Fathers Day Gift Ideas and Celebrations. And other than the enormous commercialism of both of these national holidays, the inspiration was noble and worthy of consideration. Honoring our mothers and fathers is a life-long process because we can honor our parents, even after their deaths. According to History.com there are more than 70 million fathers in the United States, so it is natural that just as we honor our mothers, so should we honor our fathers.
But the campaign to celebrate fathers was absent the enthusiasm of the Mother’s Day proclamations which took place in the early 1900s. Why? Perhaps because, as a florist at the time explained, “fathers haven’t the same sentimental appeal that mothers have.” (We mothers agree…?)
On July 5, 1908, a West Virginia church sponsored the nation’s first event specifically in honor of fathers. A Sunday sermon memorialized 362 men who had died in the previous December’s explosion at the Fairmont Coal Company mines in Monongah, but it was a one time commemoration, not an annual holiday at this point. The following year, Sonora Smart Dodd, one of six children raised by a widower, attempted to establish an official equivalent to Mother’s Day for male parents. Dodd spoke to local churches, the YMCA, shopkeepers and government officials to gain support for her cause and she was successful. Washington State celebrated the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day on June 19, 1910. Then in 1924 President Calvin Coolidge urged state governments to observe Father’s Day. But, surprisingly, in the 1920s and 1930s, a movement arose to scrap Mother’s Day and Father’s Day altogether in favor of a single holiday to be called Parents Day. The idea was to promote love and respect for both parents together. But due to the Great Depression other priorities came to the forefront. Then during WW II much was said to promote fathers but it was not until 1972 that President Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday.
Was Mother’s Day the inspiration for Father’s Day?
Yes. But federal holiday or not, I wish my Dad was here today so that we could catch up. I would tell him all about everything and thank him for his great examples of what a father should be. I have some great Fathers Day Gift Ideas.
Happy Father’s Day on June 18 this year.
Nancy Shores – Licensed Massage Therapist