June 03, 2014
Just like Moms, we all have Dads. There are so many types of mothers in our world, and we talked about that last month in our blog. This month, we’re honoring the same types of fathers: new fathers, step-fathers, adoptive fathers, fathers that weren’t with us for long, middle-aged fathers, old fathers, and fathers that aren’t with us any longer. The same common bond is true for all of them: they’re in our hearts and minds all the time, though especially on Father’s Day.
On Sunday June 15th, and every second Sunday in June each year, we honor our fathers. When it comes to the history of Father’s Day, this is where the Moms beat the Dads to the punch. Woodrow Wilson decreed Mother’s Day into law in 1914, but the movement to commemorate Dads didn’t have quite the same push behind it. Sadly, as one florist commented, fathers didn’t have the “same sentimental appeal” as mothers.
Now we know this not to be true, but the majority of American men felt the same way about the holiday in its early years.
In 1909, in Washington state, a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd got serious about the holiday. She was one of 6 children raised by a widower, and she rallied local government, churches, YMCAs, business owners until Washington state honored their first Father’s Day on July 19, 1910. It started to slowly spread throughout the country, and President Wilson acknowledged the day in 1916. He made a large production of using telegraph signals sent from the White House to unfurl a flag in Spokane, but the day was still not officially recognized.
Aunt Sadie’s home state of Vermont has a connection to Fathers Day, oddly enough. Vermont’s own President Calvin Coolidge asked state governments to recognize the day, but as a whole, the country had still not taken the day on officially. It chugged along, with people wanting to scrap both Mother’s Day and Father’s day in the 20’s and 30’s, in support of just a Parent’s Day. It wasn’t until decades later, in the midst of the tightly-run re-election campaign of 1972 did Richard Nixon sign the day into law.
This year, along with our little history lesson, we’d like to share our Dads with you. Brian’s Dad Artie lives in Florida (with his wife Ginnie). Aunt Sadie was Artie’s mother so he shares a very special place with us. Artie will turn 90 years young in August and over the years he’s been a painter, a rock and mineral collector, a Grand Knight in the Knights of Columbus and worked for many years as a Schematical Engineer on Long Island before he and Ginnie relocated to Florida. He’s out and about everyday and enjoying his retirement. Gary’s Dad Bob lives in Lunenburg (with his wife Pat). He’ll be 83 later this month and has done construction work for most of his life. He’s an AVID fisherman, fishing most days in the local lakes and supplying the residents of Lunenburg with their fill of trout, bass, perch and croppies! He’s also Aunt Sadie’s dump guy, mailman and handyman. We’re so thankful for both Artie and Bob’s support and can’t wait to help them celebrate their big day on June 15th!
Happy Fathers Day to you all!