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In 1972, President Nixon officially declared Father's Day a federal holiday, a holiday that is widely celebrated across the country. Many other countries, however, have similar traditions and customs, and many of them celebrate their fathers on this special day. However, many of the traditions surrounding Father's Day in the U.S. are quite different than those celebrated elsewhere. If you'd like to know the history behind your favorite father's day celebration, then read on!
Sonora Smart Dodd
In 1910, a local politician named Sonora Smart Dodd started a campaign for a federal holiday to honor fathers. Her letter to William Jennings Bryan and other congressmen garnered national attention. The campaign was a success, and Father's Day was soon celebrated in several cities across the country. In fact, economists estimate that Americans spend $16 billion on gifts for fathers on Father's Day alone!
International Men's Day
To celebrate the positive contributions that men make to society, International Men's Day is a global event that draws a crowd of supporters every year. Founded by Australian IMD organisers in 1999, it aims to promote positive gender stereotypes and male identity. Unlike the celebration of International Women's Day, IMD in the United States is not intended to compete with it. Rather, it highlights the health and masculinity of men. In 1989, the Soviet Union banned International Men's Day in favor of celebrating Women's Day. Jerome Teelucksingh was the first man to revive the International Men's Day movement and it has since become an annual event in many countries.
International Father's Day
While the day itself is not a legal holiday, it is a popular occasion to celebrate the importance of fathers and father figures. Children will usually celebrate Father's Day with a phone call, a family dinner, or a special occasion. Restaurants will be crowded on this day. Many people will buy their dad a rose on International Father's Day to commemorate the day, and they will likely order a cake to celebrate with their father. Children will also give their fathers small gifts.
Days celebrated around the world
The first official recognition of Father's Day took place in West Virginia. A church service honoring mothers and fathers inspired a woman from Spokane, Wash., to create a special service to honor the fathers of her congregation. Sonora's father, William Jackson Smart, had raised her from the age of sixteen by herself, so she felt that a day to honor the fathers of her children was long overdue.
Celebrations in the United States
Celebrated annually on June 19th, Father's Day originated in the United States. It was an idea first put forward by an artist named Sonora Smart Dodd, who had a vision for celebrating fatherhood in West Virginia after the death of her father in a mining accident. Sonora Smart Dodd was a graduate of art school, and her vision for Father's Day was not immediately adopted. However, she did make it a national holiday after completing her education.