For all of our AAHAM fathers, I want to wish you a Happy Father’s Day!
It’s important to recognize the contributions fathers make and Father’s Day helps acknowledge the contribution of fathers to their individual families and to societies at large.
Observing Father’s Day provides children an opportunity to express love and respect for their fathers and strengthen the father-child relationships. While children often take the love of their parents for granted, the special traditions a family makes in celebrating Father’s Day helps fathers feel proud and children come closer to their fathers.
Today, the modern day father is so different than when I was growing up. Typically, Dad went to work in a suit and tie and mom stayed home. It’s so different today, men are so much more involved in the family, and want to be.
TV shows help illustrate the changing roles of fathers. My favorite is “Modern Family” on ABC. The show has continued to represent the range of family structures which are acceptable today. There’s the same-sex couple that has struggled through adoption and fatherhood and an older father with a start over family. Although my father, step-father and father-in-law are gone, I celebrate my brother who takes a very active role in parenting. He’s the parent that attends his children’s’ school functions, chauffeurs them to after school activities and chaperones them on camping trips. He’s A Cub Scout leader and Cancer Survivors Camp counselor as well.
Celebrating Father’s Day goes back to 1908 but it was a tough sell back then. Our country enthusiastically embraced Mother’s Day but it was said that Father’s Day didn’t have as much sentimental appeal. The struggle to make Father’s Day official slowly gained support. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson honored the day by using telegraph signals to unfurl a flag in Spokane when he pressed a button in Washington, D.C.
In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge urged state governments to observe Father’s Day. However, many men continued to disdain the day. As one historian writes, they “scoffed at the holiday’s sentimental attempts to domesticate manliness with flowers and gift giving, or they derided the proliferation of such holidays as a commercial gimmick to sell more products, often paid for by the father himself.”
In the 1920s and 1930s, there was an effort to scrap separate Mother’s and Father’s Days in favor of a single holiday which would be called Parent’s Day. But during the depression, struggling retailers and advertisers redoubled their efforts to make Father’s Day a “second Christmas” for men, promoting goods such as neckties, hats, socks, pipes and tobacco, golf clubs and other sporting goods, and greeting cards.
In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson, by official order, made Father's Day a holiday to be celebrated on the third Sunday of June. The holiday was not formally considered until 1972, when President Richard Nixon signed a proclamation and it was officially acknowledged by a Congressional Act setting it permanently on the third Sunday in June all over the nation.
How will your family celebrate Father’s Day this year?