Happy Father’s Day from the Gatlinburg Daily Post

It’s a day honoring some of the most important men in our lives and the special role they have played in shaping us: Father’s Day is Sunday, June 18, 2017. The holiday has a varied past and has transitioned through many phases throughout American’s history, some of which is controversial.

The big difference for many between the Father’s Day and Mother’s Day holiday was that the holiday did not have the emotional push behind it that Mother’s Day did. Of course, this has changed in our modern sense of the holiday, but, when it was originally proposed in 1908, this was its biggest criticism.

On July 5, 1908, a church in West Virginia sponsored an event to honor fathers after 362 men died the previous December in an explosion at the Fairmont Coal Company Mines. The event was originally meant to be a onetime celebration and not a holiday. One particular champion of the holiday was Sonora Smart-Dodd. Smart-Dodd was one of six children raised by her widowed mother. She petitioned several local institutions within her community, and actually succeeded in getting Washington State to be the first to celebrate the holiday state wide.

There have been some critics of Father’s Day from the beginning. Some believe that the practice of giving gifts and other sentimental items that the father usually paid for is another marketing gimmick.

Some critics moved to get rid of both Mother’s and Father’s Day in favor of a single Parent’s Day. However, public sentiment for the holiday took a sharp turn with the events of World War II. With thousands of fathers going to the warfront and leaving their families behind, scores of people jumped behind the Father’s Day sentiment. Father’s Day became so popular that it was often seen as an American institution.

President Richard Nixon made Father’s Day an official national holiday in 1972. Today, Father’s Day is celebrated, not only here in the United States, but around the world. Internationally, the holiday is usually celebrated on St. Joseph’s Day on March 19th.

Here in the United States, it is projected that people will spend over $1 billion in Father’s Day gifts this year. Take the day to call the important father figures in your life, whatever their relation to you may be. They will be happy to know that you are thinking of them and appreciate all that they have done.

Happy Father’s Day from all of us at the Gatlinburg Daily Post!

Source: Elizabeth Lane, Gatlinburg Daily Post Staff Writer