Who Was the First Father Honoured by Father’s Day?
In a world where equal rights between men and women is being fought for, tooth and nail, we must remember that in some cases woman have actually had the privileges. For instance, did you know that mothers have been honoured world-wide and celebrated for their role since long before fathers? Yes, I’m talking about Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
The specific day to honour and cherish our fathers had to come from somewhere – just like Mother’s Day, something inspired it and it grew into an international idea. But what inspired it? Who was the very first father to reap the benefits of Father’s Day? We have a couple of ideas here. One is the more modern possibility but the other is a centuries old possibility we thought we would bring to you attention, purely to show how fathers have always been cherished by their children.
Babylon Baby Boy.
Some historians have traced the beginning of Father’s Day all the way back to the ruins of Babylon around 4000 years ago. Why? Well, there has been evidence of a boy named Elmesu creating the very first Father’s Day card out of clay and wishing his father good health and a long life with it. The following year, there were more people following his example.
If this was the very first Father’s Day, then the tradition is far older than we thought.
Inspired by Mothers.
The more modern version of events (and the more convincing) shows that Father’s Day started in the US when a mature woman decided her father was just as worthy of celebration as mothers were. During a Mother’s Day sermon, Sonora Louisa Smart Dodd contemplated the meaning of the day where mothers received love and gratitude for everything they do. Her own mother died in childbirth when Sonora was only 16 however, leaving her widower of a father to raise not only her, but her five other siblings, one of which was a new-born. She decided he deserved as much gratitude and love as mothers did on their designated day, so started a campaign to have Father’s Day brought into effect. She was supported in her movement by The Spokane Ministerial Association and the local Young Men’s Christian Association. And so the first Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19th, 1910.
The idea of Father’s Day spread outwards like a spider web with Sonora at the centre, and its popularity grew extensively. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson approved the idea but it wasn’t until 1966 that President Lyndon Johnson passed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of every June as Father’s Day. Sonora was honoured for her contribution at the World’s Fair in Spokane in 1974 and sadly passed away four years later at age 96.
This version of events therefore indicates that Father’s Day was grown from the inspiration of Mother’s Day to keep both fathers and mothers equal in the eyes of their children. In 1957, Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote congress that, “Either we honour both our parents, mother and father, or let us desist from honouring either one.”
Fun Facts for Father’s Day.
- It is not only immediate fathers that are celebrated on Father’s Day; stepfathers, grandfathers or whoever commands the position of the father in a family is celebrated too.
- The most popular gift for a father, every year, turns out to be a tie – well, we have to get them looking smart for work, right?
- Roses are normally associated with love and romance, but did you also know that they are the flower of Father’s Day? Does your father mean as much to you as your valentine this year did?
- American’s spend over $1 billion a year on Father’s Day.
For information on other important days throughout the year, read our blog; www.enlightenea.co.uk/blog.