This Sunday, June 18 is that time of the year we dedicate to the fathers and other paternal influences in our lives.
Generally celebrated on the third Sunday in June, Father’s Day was inaugurated in the United States in the early 20th century to complement the Mother’s Day celebration.
It was founded in Spokane, Washington in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd, who wanted to recognize her father’s contributions. Dodd’s father, Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who raised her and her five siblings, and Father’s Day in June coincided with his birthday.
According to the Library of Congress, President Woodrow Wilson — who established Mother’s Day by presidential proclamation in 1914 — approved of having Father’s Day in 1916 but it was never signed as an official proclamation. Nearly 50 years later, President Lyndon B. Johnson declared that the third Sunday in June be devoted as the day for fathers.
A decade later in 1972, President Richard Nixon signed a law calling for a permanent recognition of Father’s Day through issuing a proclamation.
The proclamation should urge “the people of the United States to offer public and private expressions of Father’s Day to the abiding love and gratitude they have for their fathers.”
Whether you call him dad, father or tatay or celebrate another father figure in your life, this Sunday is not just about gifts — but also about quality time together. Happy Father’s Day!