Sunday, September 6, 2009

Father's Day

Today I got this painting from my daughter Tamina. It's Father's Day here, in the South Pacific and what better to give her Dad than a beret-related gift?

In my rebellious teens I didn't see any purpose in Father's Day, a "stupid commercial invention from corporate companies to make more money...", but, being older and a bit wiser, I quite appreciate it now.

Father's Day is a celebration inaugurated in the early twentieth century to complement Mother's Day in celebrating fatherhood, male parenting, and to honor and commemorate fathers and forefathers. Father's Day is celebrated on a variety of dates worldwide and typically involves gift-giving, special dinners to fathers, and family-oriented activities.

The first observance of Father's Day is believed to have been held on June 19, 1910 through Sonora Dodd's efforts of Spokane, WA.

Sonora Smart Dodd of Washington thought independently of the holiday one Sunday in 1909 while listening to a Mother's Day sermon at the Central Methodist Episcopal Church at Spokane, and she arranged a tribute for her father on June 19, 1910. She was the first to solicit the idea of having an official Father's Day observance to honor all fathers.

It took many years to make the holiday official. In spite of support from the YWCA, the YMCA and churches, it ran the risk of disappearing from the calendar. Where Mother's Day was met with enthusiasm, Father's Day was met with laughter. The holiday was gathering attention slowly, but for the wrong reasons. It was the target of much satire, parody and derision, including jokes from the local newspaper Spokesman Review. Many people saw it as just the first step in filling the calendar with mindless promotions like "Grandparent's Day", "Professional Secretaries Day", etc., all the way down to "National Clean Your Desk Day."

A bill was introduced in 1913, US President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea in 1924 and a national committee was formed in the 1930s by trade groups in order to legitimize the holiday. It was made a federal holiday in the US when President Lyndon Johnson issued a proclamation in 1966.

Most countries celebrate Father's Day on the 3rd Sunday of June (the Americas, the UK and a number of European countries), here in the South pacific it's on the 1st Sunday of September.

A great occasion to give a beret to a beloved father…

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