Why Is Father’s Day Celebrated on the Third Sunday of June?

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Why Is Father’s Day Celebrated on the Third Sunday of June?

Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June primarily due to historical reasons related to its establishment in the United States. The holiday’s origins can be traced back to the early 20th century when efforts were made to create a day honoring fathers, similar to Mother’s Day, which was already well established.

Here are the key points that explain why Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June:

  1. Inspiration and Initial Celebration: The first known Father’s Day celebration was held on June 19, 1910, in Spokane, Washington. This event was organized by Sonora Smart Dodd, who wanted to honor her father, a Civil War veteran who raised six children as a single parent.
  2. Selection of the Date: Sonora Smart Dodd initially suggested June 5, her father’s birthday, as the date for the celebration. However, due to logistical issues, the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday of June.
  3. Support and Recognition: The idea gained support over the years, with President Calvin Coolidge encouraging states to celebrate Father’s Day in 1924. However, it was not yet an official holiday.
  4. Official Proclamation: The movement for an official Father’s Day continued to grow, and in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day.
  5. Legal Establishment: Finally, in 1972, President Richard Nixon signed it into law, officially making Father’s Day a permanent national holiday celebrated on the third Sunday of June each year.

This specific timing in June was influenced by the initial celebration date and the continuous efforts of Sonora Smart Dodd, as well as the support and formalization by subsequent U.S. presidents. The tradition has since been adopted by many countries worldwide, though some nations celebrate it on different dates according to their own customs and histories.

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