Father's Day is a special day for people across the country to spend some time with Dad and let him know how much you appreciate him. But, believe it or not, this is a comparatively recent holiday! While many other national holidays are hundreds of years old or more, we just passed the hundredth Father's Day in the United States a few years ago. Here's a little more about the history of Father's Day.
The Holiday's Roots
It's tricky to pin down the earliest ideas for a holiday to celebrate fathers. We do know that Mother's Day came first: after growing out of post-Civil War reconciliation movements, Mom's special day was officially recognized not long after the turn of the century.
The first celebration we know about that was held in honor of fathers was a brief holiday in West Virginia on the 5th of July in 1908. The day was sponsored by a local church in honor of over three hundred men, many of them fathers, who had recently died in a catastrophic mine accident. However, this wasn't quite the holiday we know today: it was a one-time event meant to honor the memory of a specific time, not a recurring day.
The Very First Father's Day
On July 19, 1910, the state of Washington held a state holiday in honor of fathers. It was inspired by one Dad in particular, the father of a lady from Spokane named Sonora Smart Dodd. Her father had raised her and five other kids on his own after their mother had passed away. She wanted to honor him and other fathers with something like the then brand new Mother's Day. With the help of people all over her city, including the local YMCA, businesses and church friends, she managed to organize the holiday in less than a year, marking the real beginning of the history of Father's Day.
Gifts for Dads
Father's Day caught on slowly and, although two different Presidents acknowledged it soon after, it took decades to cross the country. The 1920s saw a movement to combine Mother's Day and Father's Day into a single holiday to honor parents and the 1930s were witness to the slow growth of the holiday as people began to establish new traditions. Many focused on particular gifts for the holiday, wrapping things like hats, ties, socks, smoking products, sports-related gifts and nice cards to show their appreciation for their fathers. The enthusiastic advertisers of the Great Depression era noticed and tried to encourage it as a “second Christmas” to brighten up families' difficult years.
But Father's Day really took off during World War II, when people across America took up the celebration as another way to honor our troops serving far from home. By the time so many Dads returned at the end of the war, Father's Day had become an indelible part of this country's culture. However, it wasn't established as an official national holiday until 1972!
Celebrating Father's Day Today
Along with gifts, both traditional and personal, you can celebrate Father's Day by spending time with Dad. It really is the best way to show how much he means to you!
If you're looking for great ways to spend the day, consider treating Dad to a delicious brunch. This Father's Day, we're having a Seafood and Steak Brunch from 8 in the morning to 8 at night - for just $8.99.
Come enjoy a day of games and excitement at historic Railroad Pass Hotel and Casino. Call us for more information, to book a Father's Day vacation or to sign up for your Player's Junction Card today