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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day 2008:The Centennial Celebration

In the United States our modern day celebration of Fathers, the other half of responsible parenting, has it origins in the minds of two ladies who are said to be largely responsible for the commemoration. Both Grace Golden Clayton and Sonora Smart Dodd came up with the idea to honor fathers.

Ms Clayton's innovation came as a suggestion to the pastor of a church in West Viginia following a mine disaster, a major explosion in December 1907, in which more than three hundred men perished. Many of those who died were fathers and immigrants.

It is said that Mrs. Dodd was inspired to organize a holiday to honor fathers by the devotion displayed by her father, William Jackson Smart, a veteran of the War Between the States, who as a single parent raised six children in Spokane, Washington.

Both women were encouraged in their efforts to celebrate fathers by Anna Jarvis's work to establish Mother's Day, a project Jarvis' mother, Ann,had worked on before her death in 1905.

And so the first modern Father's Day celebration was held on July 5, 1908, in Fairmont, West Virginia. The first June Fathers' Day was held in June 19, 1910 in Spokane, Washington at a Young Mens' Christian Association, YMCA.

In the United States our presidents immedately promoted the holiday with unofficial support. President Coolidge in 1924 suggested it be a national holiday. By the latter part of the twentieth century President Lyndon Baines Johnson proclaimed Father's Day a holiday to be celebrated on the third Sunday of June. In 1972 President Richard Nixon gave the holiday its official desination.

After 00 years of families giving Dad his due, retailers can expect to cash in on nearly 11 billion dollars in retail sales of gifts for fathers.

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