FATHER’S DAY – Third Sunday in June

Father's Day - Third Sunday in June

Father’s Day – Third Sunday in June


Father’s Day is celebrated annually on the third Sunday in June.  This day is set aside to honor the the role that fathers play in the family structure and society.

After the success of Mother’s Day, Father’s Day observations began to show up.  The road to this national observance was not easy.

  • The first recorded observance of Father’s Day happened after the Monongraph Mining Disaster which killed 361 men and left around 1,000 children fatherless in December 1907.  Grace Golden Clayton suggested to her pastor Robert Thomas Webb to honor all those fathers.  On July 5th, 1908, a gathering in honor of these men took place at Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South, now known as Central United Methodist Church, in Fairmont, West Virginia.
  • In 1910, the YMCA in Spokane, Washington recruited several clergymen with the help of Sonora Smart Dodd to honor fathers throughout the city.  The date was set for June 5th but was later changed to June 19th (the 3rd Sunday in June) as many of the clergy needed more time to prepare.
  • Harry C. Meek, member of Lions Clubs International, claimed that he had first the idea for Father’s Day in 1915.  Meek claimed that the third Sunday of June was chosen because it was his birthday.  The Lions Club has named him “Originator of Father’s Day”.  Meek made many efforts to promote Father’s Day and make it an official holiday.
  • After a visit to Spokane in 1916 to speak at a Father’s Day celebration, President Woodrow Wilson wanted to make it official, but congress resisted fearing that the observation would become to commercialized.
  • President Calvin Coolidge stopped short of issuing a national proclamation in 1924
  • Sonora Smart Dodd continued to work to make Father’s Day a national observation.  In 1938 she worked with the Father’s Day Council, a group of New York Men’s Wear Retailers for the commercial promotion of the observation.  Many Americans resisted the holiday for decades because of these attempts to commercialize the day.
  • In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential  proclamation honoring fathers on the third Sunday in June.
  • President Richard Nixon signed into law a permanent national holiday in 1972.  This is over 50 years after Mother’s Day came into assistance.

The day is now celebrated in many countries across the world.

June 21, 2015
June 19, 2016
June 18, 2017
June 17, 2018
June 16, 2019


One Response to “FATHER’S DAY – Third Sunday in June”

  1. Fonda Rush June 20, 2015 at 2:31 pm #

    “…clergy needed more time to repair.” Should be “prepare”, unless something was broken.

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