National Holiday: Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

SUNDAY, JUNE 19: Happy Father’s Day to the 70.1 million dads of America! (Get more Dad facts from the U.S. Government.)

Each year since 1972, the U.S. has officially celebrated Father’s Day as a national holiday. Today, make sure to pay tribute to paternal influences in your life and around the world.

The first event resembling the modern Father’s Day took place in West Virginia in 1908, when Grace Clayton commemorated the 210 fathers who had lost their lives in the Monongah Mining disaster of 1907. (Wikipedia has details.) Just a couple of years later, Sonora Smart Dodd of Arkansas proposed dedicating a day to her own father, a Civil War veteran who had raised his six children as a single father. (Even today, that’s relatively rare—only 15 percent of single parents are men.) Dodd was also inspired by Anna Jarvis’ early celebration of Mother’s Day. There were years when the observance was ignored and its roots forgotten, although it grew in popularity. In 1972, President Nixon signed the day into law, which is when a lot of the early details were recovered by historians. (Learn about dads in history and more at

Kids—for a personal touch, make Dad a craft inspired by Kaboose. Giving gifts on Father’s Day has become even more accepted through the years, although many people view Father’s Day as over-commercialized. (Looking for last-minute, inexpensive gift ideas? The Washington Post has an article.)

Have a great day, Dad! And if you’re a movie fan, you’ll want to read our story about two blockbusters showing this weekend about comic-book heroes—X-men and Green Lantern.

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