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The History of Father's Day

This is history from the history channel's website, so you know it's legit:

The first known celebration of Father's Day was on July 5, 1908 in Fairmont, West Virginia, where it was commemorated at William Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South – now known as Central United Methodist Church. Grace Golden Clayton is believed to have suggested it to her pastor after a deadly explosion in nearby Monongah in December, killing 361 men.

It was also during a sermon in 1909 that Sonora Smart Dodd became inspired by Mother's Day. After the death of her mother, Sonora and her siblings were raised by their father William Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran. Sonora wanted to show how thankful she was to her father and, because William was born in June, she worked to have the first Father's Day celebrated on June 19, 1910.

In 1924, President Coolidge recommended that Father's Day become a national holiday. President Johnson designated the third Sunday of June to be Father's Day in 1966. It was not until 1972 that President Nixon instituted Father's Day as a national observance.

Did You Know – Roses are the official flower on Father's Day, red for fathers who were still living and white for those who have passed on.

Well that's all fascinating, truly, it is, but I think that we have a little more to consider about Father's day. Yesterday I was at a panel discussion from womengirlsladies called "Dads, Dudes and Doing It." I'll go more into detail on the incredible stuff discussed there later, but one of the main points that was brought up was the role of fathers in feminism and masculinity complexes. 

For today, I'm just going to say: today is a day to be thankful for Dads who have been present in our lives and who have supported us and cared for us. But I also think (without being too much of a downer on a holiday) it's a good time for Dads to think about even further improving their role in feminism, for the sake of their daughters. And it's also time for feminist daughters to help their fathers reach this state of mind - in the most supportive way possible, of course. 

So, yes, happy father's day to all the magnificent fathers out there...especially mine, because he is the most supportive and wonderful dad in the entire world!



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Julie Zeilinger
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