With Nancy J. Farrier
Father’s Day and Mother’s Day were first celebrated in the same decade—the first of the 1900’s. Mother’s Day became an official US holiday in 1914, but Father’s Day took much longer to become official.
There are many possibilities for how Father’s Day first began in the United States, but the most popular story surrounds Sonora Smart Dodd and the idea she conceived of honoring her father after listening to a Mother’s Day sermon. Sonora’s father, a Civil War veteran, earned her respect by the way he provided and cared for his children after his wife died giving birth to their sixth child.
|Notman Photo Co.,
In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson approved the idea. President Calvin Coolidge pushed for Father’s Day to become a national holiday in 1924, but didn’t received approval. President Coolidge wanted to, “...establish more intimate relations between fathers and their children...” He also wanted to help father’s to understand the, “...full measure of their obligations...”
|Arnold Newman (WHPO)
Many countries around the world have followed suit and started their own celebration for Father’s Day. Over forty countries chose to use the 3rd Sunday of June as their day of celebration too.
|Photo by Internet Archive Book Images
|Anthony Berger, photographer
Another notable father is Abraham Lincoln. It is said he gave his children free reign in the White House and even allowed them to interrupt important meetings. The deaths of three of his children devastated him. He was reported to be “remarkably fond” of his children.
|Photo by Howard Coster
J.R.R. Tolkien was another author who wrote for his children. He had four children, three boys and a girl. Each year, Tolkien wrote illustrated letters to his
children from Father Christmas. The stories grew
with more characters added, and Father Christmas had to battle against goblins
who rode on bats. He also wrote his famous book, The Hobbit, first as chapters
to entertain his children.
|J.R.R. Tolkien 1916
There are many stories of fathers who do a remarkable job raising their children. I once met a man who mentioned raising eight children on his own. His wife died a week after the youngest was born. I stopped the conversation and made his repeat what he’d said and questioned him about how he managed. I also met some of his nearly grown children, who were wonderful young people. I think of him as a hero for doing such an amazing job as a father.
Do you have any stories of father’s who have done something amazing for their children? Maybe your own father has had a profound influence on who you are. Please share something on this blog to be entered to win a $10 Starbucks gift card for a special father you know. Be sure to leave your email address to be entered.
Nancy J Farrier is an award winning author who lives in Southern California in the Mojave Desert. She loves the Southwest with its interesting historical past. Nancy and her husband have five children and two grandsons. When Nancy isn’t writing, she loves to read, do needlecraft, play with her cats, and spend time with her family. Nancy is represented by Karen Ball of The Steve Laube Literary Agency. You can read more about Nancy and her books on her website: nancyjfarrier.com.