Father’s Day is not an official public holiday in the US, but nonetheless, it is observed by the majority of the population. It falls on the third Sunday of every June and is a day for honouring one’s Father with a card, gift, or a meal out.
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A number of influences led to the establishment of Father’s Day as an American tradition. First, there was a mining accident in West Virginia in which many fathers were killed. The 1907 memorial service to the fallen inspired the idea of a permanent Father’s Day. Then, there was also the desire to have a day to correspond to Mother’s Day, which began to be celebrated in the early 1900’s.
But it was Sonora Dodd who led the charge to make Father’s Day a holiday. Her father’s efforts at raising both her and her five siblings after the death of their mother motivated her to campaign for Father’s Day, and her efforts paid off with the first Father’s Day celebration held in 19 June 1910.
Momentum increased in the years and decades ahead as successive President including Woodrow Wilson and Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of Father’s Day. Lyndon Johnson proclaimed the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day in 1966. And, ultimately, President Richard Nixon made the observance permanent in 1972.