For all of our AAHAM fathers I want to wish you a Happy Father’s Day!
Some of you may think of Father’s Day as another Hallmark holiday or a Sunday marked by giving Dad a tie, bbq tools or golf balls, but I think it’s important to recognize the contributions fathers make to their families. Fathers today seem much more involved than the fathers we knew from TV when I was growing up. Whether it was “Leave it to Beaver”, “Father Know Best” or “Happy Days” it seemed 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.
I celebrate my brother who takes a very active role in parenting. He’s the parent that attends all his children’s’ school functions, chauffeurs them to after school activities and chaperones them on camping trips. He’s been the Cub Scout leader as well.
Celebrating Father’s Day goes back to 1908 but it was a tough sell. Our country enthusiastically embraced Mother’s Day but it was said that Father’s Day didn’t have as much sentimental appeal. After all, while Mother’s Day was widely supported by the floral industry, who sends Dad a bouquet for Father’s Day? 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 Day and Father’s Day in favor of a single holiday, Parent’s Day. But during the depression struggling retailers and advertisers redoubled their efforts to make Father’s Day a “second Christmas” for dads, promoting goods such as ties, 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 officially acknowledged by a Congressional Act, setting it permanently on the third Sunday in June all over the nation. What are your family’s plans for Father’s Day?