Happy Father’s Day! Americans celebrate more than 70 million dads

SUNDAY, JUNE 19: Give Dad a hug and say “Thanks”—it’s Father’s Day! Across the United States, more than 70 million fathers qualify for recognition on this special day. Whether you’ll be firing up the grill, giving Dad a call or just spending time with him, take part in the celebration that has honored U.S. fathers for more than half a century.

Several early versions of the American Father’s Day exist, but the one most often credited with influencing today’s holiday began in Spokane, Washington, in 1910. After hearing a sermon on Mother’s Day in 1909, Sonora Smart Dodd asked her pastor if fathers could have a similar holiday—after all, her father had single handedly raised his six children after their mother passed away. The pastor agreed, and the sermon for fathers was delivered on the third Sunday of June. Though Father’s Day didn’t garner widespread success initially, Spokane-based advocates of the holiday soon partnered with trade groups and began promoting the holiday with vigor. The Father’s Day Council came on board in 1938, and by 1972, President Richard Nixon was signing the holiday into law.

Did you know? Celebrations similar to the American Father’s Day have been in existence around the globe for many years. In traditionally Catholic countries, fathers are popularly recognized on the Feast of St. Joseph.

Today, President Barack Obama urges all Dads to take the Fatherhood Pledge, and for kids young and old to remember that it’s not all about gifted ties and golf clubs; it’s the time spent and love that earn Dad’s heart. So give good ol’ Dad a big hug and tell him “thank you,” today, however you can!


Cooking dinner for Dad? Whether you’re taking food to the grill or to the oven, get inspired with recipes from Food Network, Martha Stewart and AllRecipes.

Spending time with Dad may be the best gift of all, and if you’re stumped for activity ideas, Reader’s Digest and Parents.com doll out suggestions on what to do (mini golf, anyone?).

Not sure what to get Dad this year?

The Wall Street Journal rounded up nine retro gift ideas.

Wired has 21 gifts for 21 types of dads.

Fox News suggests wine, beer and spirits gifts.

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

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