June 17th Is Fathers DayMay 29th, 2012 by Craig Mullins
Believe it or not, the history of Father’s Day is a vast and fairly confusing one; and apparently a bit of resistance from our male-dominated Congress.
According to record, it all started on July 5, 1908 when West Virginia church member Mrs. Grace Golden Clayton organized a Father’s Day event through her church’s Sunday sermon, and dedicated it to the hundreds of men who died as the result of a mining disaster several months earlier. Clayton chose the Sunday closest to her father’s birthday; the event was a one time thing, and was not observed again.
Two years later, on July 19, 1910, Washington State held the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day celebration thanks to Sonora Smart Dodd. One of six children raised in Spokane, WA by Civil War veteran and single father William Jackson Smart, Sonora’s goal was to establish a day for male parents equivalent to Mother’s Day, and sought the support of the YMCA, shopkeepers, local churches, and government officials.
In 1913 a bill to accord national recognition of the Father’s Day holiday was introduced in Congress.
President Woodrow Wilson attempted to make Father’s Day an official holiday in 1916, but Congress resisted, afraid that it would become commercialized.
Eight years elapsed before another presidential push for Father’s Day. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge urged state governments to observe the day as state holiday, but did not go as far as issuing a national proclamation.
…many men continued to disdain the day. As one historian writes, they “scoffed at the holiday’s sentimental attempts to domesticate manliness with flowers and gift-giving, or they derided the proliferation of such holidays as a commercial gimmick to sell more products–often paid for by the father himself.” [source]
During the 1920s and 1930s, there was a movement to get rid of Mother’s Day and Father’s Day as separate holidays, in favor of a single, Parents’ Day. Pro-Parents’ Day groups rallied in New York City’s Central Park each year on Mother’s Day with the message that “both parents should be loved and respected together.”
Parents’ Day may have actually taken hold were it not for the Great Depression. Struggling advertisers and retailers stepped up their efforts to make money and turned to the idea of Father’s Day being a “second Christmas” for men.
In 1957, Margaret Chase Smith, a Senator from Maine, wrote a proposal to Congress accusing them of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers, thus “[singling] out just one of our two parents.”
It wasn’t until 1966 when a presidential proclamation was finally issued, by President Lyndon B. Johnson, designating a day – the third Sunday in June – as a day to honor fathers that we had an official Father’s Day holiday on the books.
During a hard-fought presidential re-election campaign in 1972, President Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday.
Wow! Can you believe it took 64 years for Father’s Day to become an official holiday?
We’re huge proponents of going green whenever possible here at Mullins Farms, so of course green Father’s Day gifts are our favorite kind. Below are my top 5 green Father’s Day gifts that I found among the 14 Unique, Green Father’s Day Gift Ideas compiled by TheDailyGreen.com.
In alphabetical order:
Fair Trade Dominoes Set
Handcrafted in China from jade, this fair trade domino set is housed in a handsome red leather box; $58 at worldstock.com
Hearst Ranch Grassfed Beef
From the Hearst Ranch, a sister brand of TheDailyGreen.com; $139…for two ribeye, four sirloins and four flat iron steaks, four pounds of ground beef and 2 Berkshire porterhouse pork chops at hearstranch.com. (For non-meat eaters, try the wild Alaskan salmon, $30 for up to 1.5 pounds)
Horny Toad Organic Cotton Shorts
Made with organic cotton and come in a number of styles; $60 at hornytoad.com
Organic Shaving Products
Weleda’s shaving cream ($13), toner ($22), after shave balm ($22) and moisture cream ($20). All Weleda products are free of harsh chemicals and created with natural ingredients grown on fair trade biodynamic farms; $77 for one of each at usa.weleda.com
Seiko Solar Watch
Classic look, keeps a full charge for 10 months; $84-$195 at amazon.com