- The first Father’s Day was actually a memorial for 362 coal miners in West Virginia who’d died in December. They were honored on July 5, 1908.
- Sonora Smart Dodd wanted to create a day for fathers similar to Mother’s Day. She managed to convince Washington State to celebrate Father’s Day, and the first Father’s Day was celebrated on July 19, 1910.
- While several Presidents supported the idea of a Father’s Day, it wasn’t until 1972 that President Nixon declared Father’s Day a federal holiday. It was President Lyndon B. Johnson, though, who said the holiday would be celebrated on the third Sunday of June.
- Men didn’t take kindly to the holiday at first, declaring it unmanly and worrying it wasn’t truly a holiday if their children used their father’s money to buy a gift.
- The earliest card, however, dates back 4000 years ago when a Babylonian child carved a card out of clay to send his father good wishes for a healthy, long life.
- Neckties aren’t just a cliched gift to give when you don’t know what else to buy. They actually date back to ancient China, around 221 B.C., when carvings found of the first emperor of China show his men all wearing neckties.
- In more recent times, we send around 72 million cards for Father’s Day, the fourth most popular time of the year for buying and sending cards.
- The official flower of Father’s Day is the rose, and you’re meant to wear it in your lapel. Wear a red rose if your father is still alive, and a white one if he’s deceased.
- Father’s Day first began as an American holiday, but it has spread to other countries. In countries like the United Kingdom, Netherlands, and India, it’s celebrated on the third Sunday in June. In places like Spain and Italy, it’s celebrated on March 19 which is also St. Joseph’s Day.
If you’re fortunate enough to celebrate Father’s Day with your father this year here in Tampa, or the kids and your spouse show you some love, feel free to throw out some Father’s Day trivia. It’s a good time to remind the dads and people filled in as a dad just how much you appreciate them and that the tradition is older than most people know.
Happy Father’s Day to the dads, grandfathers, uncles, stepdads, and everyone else who acts as a father figure for a child in need!