Friday, June 13, 2008

History of Father's Day!

Don’t forget…Father’s Day is Sunday!
Here is why we celebrate it….very interesting! (Go WV!)

First, if you read about Mother's Day in May, you'll learn that it traces back to the worship of the mother-goddesses, Rhea and Cybele, in ancient Greece. Over time the Christians turned it into worship of Mary, and in 1908, Anna Jarvis began lobbying to hold it on May 10th, her mother's death date. This became a US holiday in 1914.
It's interesting to think that while the old cultures all had great festivals celebrating womanhood and fertility, few if any had festivals promoting and supporting the role of fathers in the family. Just when Anna Jarvis was pushing to bring Mother's Day into official recognition, others were working to promote fatherhood.

In 1908, Dr. Robert Webb in West Virginia gave a sermon honoring fathers and all they do. The next year, Sonora Smart Dodd was listening to a sermon in 1909 about mothers. Sonora's father had raised her since she was tiny, and Sonora thought that Fathers should get their recognition too. Her dad was born in June, so in 1910 she convinced Spokane, Washington to hold a Father's Day celebration.

It was 1924 when President Coolidge encouraged all to celebrate a special day for fathers.
In 1966, President Johnson created the official date of the 3rd Sunday in June.

Where Mother's Day is usually about flowers and food (again tracing back to Greek customs), Father's Day is more about doing things together - fishing, hunting, golfing, birding, and other such activities. It isn't about giving gifts as much as about spending time - which is probably far more precious!

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