Father's Day

In 1972, fifty-eight years after Mother's Day was established as an official American holiday, Father's Day was officially proclaimed by the federal government as an observance to be held annually on the third Sunday of June. This lag suggests the cultural ambivalence about Father's Day, from its first appearance in 1910 as a religious call to “honor thy father” to its current status today as a successful commercial enterprise that celebrates the contributions of fathers to family life.

The inspiration for the holiday is traditionally traced to Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, who, during a Mother's Day sermon in 1909, reflected on her father's assumption of child rearing after the death of her mother. Since the mid–nineteenth century, rising expectations for male breadwinning in an ...

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