Saturday, June 19, 2010
Father’s Day: A centennial celebration of love and admiration
"It's only when you grow up, and step back from him, or leave him for your own career and your own home—it's only then that you can measure his greatness and fully appreciate it. Pride reinforces love." ~ Margaret Truman ~
One hundred years ago, on June 19, 1910, Father’s Day was celebrated in the United States for the very first time.
As Mother’s Day honors those who have been the maternal figure in our lives, Father’s Day was created to equally pay tribute to our paternal bonds.
The establishment of Father’s Day is attributed to Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington. She deeply loved and admired her father, William Jackson Smart, who had devotedly raised six children after his wife’s passing during childbirth.
Dodd, with the assistance of her pastor, Reverend Dr. Conrad Bluhm at Old Centenary Presbyterian Church, along with members of the Spokane Ministerial Alliance and local YMCA, set aside the third Sunday in June to pay homage to all fathers.
On that first Father’s Day, a symbol of celebration and remembrance was chosen by the youth of the community; each wore a single rose to church that Sunday morning – red to hail living fathers and white to honor those who had passed away.
Although annually celebrated, it took many years until Father’s Day was actually recognized as an official holiday. In 1966, President Lyndon Baines Johnson issued a presidential proclamation actually designating the day be celebrated on the third Sunday in June, but it wasn’t until 1972 when President Richard M. Nixon officially signed the holiday into permanent national law.
Today, Father’s Day is a worldwide celebration that occurs at various times during the year. However, on June 19th, 55 other countries around the globe will join the United States in honoring fathers and father figures.
The following video, produced by ESPN and aired in 2006, firmly establishes the enormous importance of a father’s unfailing love.