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July 26, 2021
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A synopsis of Father’s Day

June 18, 2021

Sunday, June 20 we will all celebrate Father’s Day. Many will be with us in body and many will be with us in spirit.

Father’s Day began when a young woman wanted to honor her dad.

In May of 1909, Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, sat in church listening to a Mother's Day sermon. She decided she wanted to designate a day for her dad, William Jackson Smart. Dodd's mother had died in childbirth, and Dodd's father, a Civil War veteran, had taken the responsibility of singlehandedly raising the newborn and his other five children.

The following year, Dodd wanted to celebrate Father's Day on June 5th, her father's birthday, and petitioned for the holiday to be recognized in her city. Needing more time to arrange the festivities, Spokane’s mayor pushed the date back by two weeks, and the first Father's Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, according to the Spokane Regional Convention and Visitor Bureau.

At the first Father's Day celebration, young women handed out red roses to their fathers during a church service, and large baskets full of roses were passed around, with attendees encouraged to pin on a rose in honor of their fathers – red for the living and white in memory of the deceased. Dodd then brought her infant son along on a horse-drawn carriage ride through the city, bringing roses and gifts to home-bound fathers.

Father's Day is a holiday of honoring fatherhood and paternal bonds, as well as the influence of fathers in society. In Catholic countries of Europe, it has been celebrated on March 19 as Saint Joseph's Day who is referred to as the fatherly Nutritor Domini ("Nourisher of the Lord") in Catholicism and "the putative father of Jesus" in southern European tradition. This celebration was brought to the Americas by the Spanish and Portuguese. The Catholic Church actively supported the custom of a celebration of fatherhood on St. Joseph's Day from either the last years of the 14th century or from the early 15th century apparently on the initiative of the Franciscans since the Middle Ages. In the United States, The day is held on various dates across the world and different regions maintain their own traditions of honoring fatherhood.

Father's Day is a recognized Public holiday in Lithuania and some parts of Spain, and was regarded as such in Italy until 1977. It is a national holiday in Australia, Estonia, Samoa, and equivalently in South Korea, where it is celebrated as Parents Day. The holiday complements similar celebrations honoring family members, such as Mother's Day, Day, Sibling Day and Grandparents' Day.

In the Coptic Orthodox Church, the celebration of fatherhood is also observed on St Joseph's Day, but the Copts observe this on July 20. The Coptic celebration may date back to the fifth century. 

For centuries, the Eastern Orthodox Church has appointed the second Sunday before Nativity as the Sunday of the Forefathers to commemorate the ancestors of Christ according to the flesh, starting with Adam and emphasizing the Patriarch Abraham.

Whether to celebrate this day worldwide or not remained a debatable topic. In 1908, Grace Golden Clayton proposed the day to honor those men who had lost their lives in a mining accident in the US. 

In addition to Father's Day, International Men's Day is celebrated in many countries on November 19 in honor of both men and boys.