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Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Story of Father's Day

Father's Day, contrary to popular misconception, was not established as a holiday in order to help greeting card manufacturers sell more cards. In fact when a "father's day" was first proposed there were no Father's Day cards!

Mrs. John B. Dodd, of Washington, first proposed the idea of a "father's day" in 1909. Mrs. Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart. William Smart, a Civil War veteran, was widowed when his wife (Mrs. Dodd's mother) died in childbirth with their sixth child. Mr. Smart was left to raise the newborn and his other five children by himself on a rural farm in eastern Washington state. It was after Mrs. Dodd became an adult that she realized the strength and selflessness her father had shown in raising his children as a single parent.

The first Father's Day was held on June 19, 1910 in Spokane Washington, the day chosen because it was the birthday of William Smart. Although many congressional resolutions proclaiming a national Father’s Day were introduced through the years, the holiday was made official only in 1972 when President Richard Nixon signed a presidential resolution that declared Father’s Day as the third Sunday in June.

Father's Day has become a day to not only honor your father, but all men who act as a father figure. Stepfathers, uncles, grandfathers, and adult male friends are all honored on Father's Day.

But Hallmark still does OK, "Father’s Day is the fourth-largest card-sending occasion with nearly 95 million Father’s Day cards expected to be given this year [2006] in the United States."

Yet it is another statistic related to the day that is more impressive: While Mother's Day is the biggest holiday for phone calls, Father's Day is the busiest for collect calls. (The overall busiest day of the year for phone calls is the Monday after Thanksgiving.)

So have a GREAT DAY all you fathers (and don’t forget to pay your phone bill)!!!!!

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