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the origins of father’s day...

Just in case you are wondering, we took a dig around to find out about the origins of Father’s Day. You may well be thinking the same as you stick a metaphorical finger in the gale of cultural consciousness... smell’s like something that blew in from the US in the twentieth century…. Oh yes!

Well there was a father’s day service first held in Fairmont, Virginia 5th July 1908 to honour 210 fathers who died during a mining disaster in Monongah, WV in December 1907. Grace Golden Clayton organised that. But the widely accepted kick off is considered to be the work of Sonora Smart Dodd - Spokane, Washington. Inspired by the success of Mother's Day, she wanted to honour her father - William Jackson Smart - a Civil War Veteran - who, as a single parent, raised his six children. She thought it up in 1909 and it happened 19th June 1910. Why June? The month of her dad’s birthday! 

In 1916 it gained Presidential support - Woodrow Wilson used telegraph signals to unfurl a flag in Spokane by pressing a button In Washington. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge recommended it become a National holiday, but didn’t make it happen. Lyndon Johnson set the third Sunday in June in stone in 1966, but Nixon in 1972 set the holiday in Law in 1972 for the US.

The third Sunday in June is where it is set in a lot of countries - ours included! Oz and NZ go for the first Sunday in September. Spain, Portugal and Italy tether it to St. Joseph’s Day - 19th March.

Whether it be a mum or a dad, they don’t choose us and us them! Give them a kiss and a hug! Share some time and have a sip and a smile together!


Dr. J


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