by Rey Andres
Forty-five of the more 196 countries in the world celebrate Father’s Day one way or another, a celebration to celebrate fatherhood and male parenting. The event comes on the heels of the Mother’s Day which highlighted and honored the contributions of mothers in the society.
After the success of Anna Jarvis (the person credited for the holiday) in promoting Mother’s Day in the U.S. in the early part 20th century a move to have the same observance for the other important persons in a household was the next logical step. Celebrating Father’s Day was a choice most likely to succeed. There were before her other people who attempted to rally to have a day set aside to honor fathers for their valuable roles in raising up families.
Sonora Dodd of Arkansas earned the credit for the modern holiday which was founded at the Spokane YMCA in Washington on June 19, 1910 to honor her father, a Civil War veteran who raised his children as a single parent. The spark didn’t ignite a interest at first and was shelved for ten years as she attended to her more pressing personal concerns and no promotional activities were held. Rekindling the fire after a decade was made this time with the involvement of more business savvy trade group which saw the business potential of the observance. From local focus, the movement graduated to the national level.
Many Americans resisted celebrating Father’s Day initially which they perceived as “just another attempt by merchants to replicate the commercial success of Mother’s Day’.
The group persevered and finally paid off and made Father’s Day celebration a national event like “a second Christmas for all men’s gift-oriented industries.”
A bill to confer national recognition for Father’s Day was introduced in Congress in 1913 but was resisted for fear that it would become commercialized. Other attempts were made but Congress remained adamant and refused to budge.
And finally, in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers and designating the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day. President Richard Nixon made the celebration a permanent holiday upon signing a law for a Father’s Day in 1972.
Setting aside a day to honor fathers nationwide highlights the strong influence of the other important and influential partner in the household “who brings positive benefits to their children and plays direct impact on their well-beings.”
Fathers are far more than just “second adults in the home” according the Dr. David Popenoe, a sociologist who is considered one of the pioneers in the relatively young field of research into fathers and fatherhood”.
Incidentally, Father’s Day in the Philippines is also observed with significance and passion as its Western counterpart. Fathers “get their moment of attention” as for their influence in society. Although not an official holiday, event is celebrated on the third Sunday of June.
Happy and blessed Father’s Day.