The facts on Fa­ther’s Day

Lodi News-Sentinel - - OPINION - STEVE HANSEN Steve Hansen is a Lodi writer.

Do you know the U.S. his­tory of Fa­ther’s Day? Why not take the fol­low­ing quiz and find out?

True or False?

1. Fa­ther’s Day was started in 1910 by the Stan­ley Greet­ing Card Co. in an ef­fort to in­crease prof­its.

2. This spe­cial day was cre­ated by a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd, whose sin­gle par­ent fa­ther, raised her and five other chil­dren.

3. Fa­ther’s Day in 2050 will be on June 19.

4. By the 1920s, recog­ni­tion of this event had pretty much run its course.

5. By the late 1930s, Many cyn­ics re­jected the re­mem­brance, fig­ur­ing it was just an­other scam to sell mer­chan­dise.

6. Congress of­fi­cially rec­og­nized the hol­i­day in 1938.

7. Pres­i­dent Richard Nixon in 1972, two years be­fore he re­signed in dis­grace, signed the hol­i­day into law.

8. The ac­tual founder of the first Fa­ther’s Day re­mains con­tro­ver­sial.

9. The term “Fa­ther’s Day” is gram­mat­i­cally cor­rect.

10. Some are now pro­mot­ing the idea that Mother’s and Fa­ther’s Days be re­placed with “Par­ents’ Day.”


1. False. Ac­tu­ally, the first “real” Fa­ther’s Day, with any recog­ni­tion out­side of a lo­cal com­mu­nity, was cre­ated by a woman in Spokane, Wash., back in 1910.

2. True. Some­times, fa­thers do get handed the brunt of all the work.

3. True. In the U.S., Fa­ther’s Day is al­ways cel­e­brated on the third Sun­day in June.

4. True. But by the 1930s, Dodd got the ball rolling again by seek­ing na­tional recog­ni­tion.

5. True. The is no short­age of cyn­ics.

6. False. De­spite rec­om­men­da­tions by two pres­i­dents, Congress ig­nored the idea. The first of­fi­cial gov­ern­men­tal recog­ni­tion came as late as 1966 with a procla­ma­tion signed by Pres­i­dent Lyn­don John­son. De­spite what you hear about lack of fe­male “gen­der equal­ity” in those days, Mother’s Day was in place 40 years be­fore fa­thers got any of­fi­cial recog­ni­tion.

7. True. (See, he wasn’t all bad.)

8. True. In 1907, a “Fa­ther’s Day” me­mo­rial ser­vice was held for scores of West Vir­ginia min­ers, who were killed in a tragic ac­ci­dent. In 1911, an­other woman, Jane Ad­dams, pro­posed a city­wide dad’s day in Chicago, but was re­jected. There were oth­ers, but Dodd was the real leader of the na­tional move­ment, in­clud­ing her in­flu­ence on Pres­i­dent John­son to de­clare his procla­ma­tion in 1966.

9. False. When speak­ing of more than one fa­ther, the apos­tro­phe should come af­ter the “s.” How­ever, an ar­gu­ment has been made that even though the hol­i­day in­cludes all fa­thers, each child pays homage to a spe­cific one and there­fore, an apos­tro­phe be­fore the “s” makes sense (at least that’s how some ra­tio­nal­ize it).

10. True. Be­cause of tra­di­tional fam­ily struc­tural dis­in­te­gra­tion, some are pro­mot­ing this idea as an al­ter­na­tive. But so far, moms’ and pops’ days pre­vail.

So there you have it. The his­tory be­hind Fa­ther’s Day you were never taught in school. Now you know the hol­i­day is more than just an­other neck­tie to hang in dad’s closet, or a “Do you want fries with that?” din­ner.

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