Father's Day, When and where is it celebrated around the world? What are its origins?

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While people go all out in giving their papas the royal treatment on Father's Day, some believe dads aren't as sentimental as mothers and don't need a special day to honour them. If you belong to the latter category, the origin story of this day might change your mind.

 

Story behind Father's Day

On July 5, 1908 in the US. A church in Fairmont, West Virginia held a special Father's Day service to honour 360 men who had lost their lives in a coal mine explosion earlier. This was a sole observance. The most influential advocate of the Father's Day concept is Spokane (Washington) resident Sonora Louise Smart Dodd. She got the brainwave after attending a church service that honoured mothers. She believed fathers deserved a day to themselves too. Her own dad William Jackson Smart had singlehandedly raised Sonora and her five siblings after his wife's death in childbirth. Their father-daughter relationship was a strong one. She proposed to her church's minister that the third Sunday of every June be dedicated to dads, and was rewarded a year later for her persistence. Her community came out in full support on that day, the mayor of Spokane and the governor of Washington issued proclamations. However, it took years before it became a national holiday in America.

 

How it spread

After Spokane started observing the third Sunday in June as Father's Day, other American cities followed suit. President Woodrow Wilson verbally approved it but it wasn't until 1924 that Father's Day became a national event, when President Calvin Coolidge termed it so to "establish more intimate relations between fathers and their children and to impress upon fathers the full measure of their obligations". In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson declared it as official and in 1972, President Richard Nixon signed a permanent proclamation to that effect.

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