Father’s Day: Thank Dad today!

SUNDAY, JUNE 16: Take Dad fishing, make dinner on the grill and take a minute to say “Thanks.” It’s Father’s Day! Across the United States, more than 70 million fathers qualify for recognition on this special day. (Get more facts and stats.)

The official holiday has been in effect for 41 years in the United States, although similar celebrations have been in existence around the globe for much longer. In traditionally Catholic countries, fathers are popularly recognized on the Feast of St. Joseph.

The American Father’s Day began in Spokane, Washington, in 1910, with the daughter of a widow. When Sonora Smart Dodd heard a Mother’s Day sermon in church, she approached her pastor, believing that fathers like hers—a Civil war veteran and single father who had raised six children—deserved recognition, too. Following the initial few years, Father’s Day was all but lost until Dodd returned to Spokane, once again promoting her holiday. (Wikipedia has details.) Despite support by trade groups and the Father’s Day Council, Father’s Day was rejected by both the general public and Congress until 1966. President Richard Nixon signed the holiday into law in 1972.


Stumped on how to celebrate Dad today? Look no further! We’ve rounded up plenty of ideas to please dads of any age:

From the Grill: Whether he prefers steak or fish, Taste of Home provides a slew of recipes—and some non-grill recipes, too.

From Biking to Geo-caching: You know Dad loves the outdoors, so why not take him on an outdoor excursion? The Chicago Tribune features a gallery of ideas. There’s even something for tech-savvy dads: geocaching, a type of treasure hunt that uses GPS and iPhones and can be shared online.

From the Silver Screen: If it’s too hot to go outside on Father’s Day, take to the air conditioning with popcorn and a dad-centered flick. Our favorite list is from Screen Rant, which recognizes fathers from Darth Vader to Mr. Incredible to Bryan Mills in “Taken.”

From the Kids: Young children can craft gifts, cards and more with ideas from Disney’s Spoonful.


Back again BY popular demand is President Obama’s Fatherhood Pledge, which urges fathers to be involved in their children’s lives: take the Pledge here.

Moms can show off their husband and offspring with a photo contest at TODAY Moms.

Think of Dad as the one who brings home the bacon? So does Oscar Mayer—which is why the Kraft food company is debuting SayItWithBacon.com, a gift idea for Father’s Day that features 18-20 slices of bacon in formal gift boxes. (The Chicago Tribune has an article.) There are even themed sets, such as “The Commander” and “The Woodsman,” with specialized gifts accompanying the bacon. This launches Oscar Mayer’s first time selling on the web.

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