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Father’s Day

Father Walking With Son

Father’s Day in America arose as a response of one Christian effort to another Christian effort. Early in the twentieth century, Anna Jarvis, with the help of fellow evangelical Christian, John Wanamaker, initiated Mother’s Day in response to the Christian life and service of Anna’s mother, Ann Jarvis.

Influenced by the raise of Mother’s Day, Sonora Smart Dodd initiated the first attempts to formally establish a day to recognize the importance of fathers in the life of the family. This first observance occurred in Spokane, Washington on June 19, 1910 at a Yong Men’s Christian Association (YMCA). Dodd’s father, Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who raised six children in Spokane. After hearing a sermon about Anna Jarvis’ Mother’s Day in 1909, Dodd told her pastor that fathers should have a similar holiday to honor them. She proposed that it be observed on June 5, her father’s birthday, but pastors were unable to prepare for the occasion with limited opportunity, so the celebration was deferred until the third Sunday of June.

The road to official recognition of Father’s Day in America was long. In 1913, a bill to accord the day national recognition was introduced, and in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson traveled to Spokane to speak and wanted to officially recognize the day, but Congress feared it would merely become commercialized. President Coolidge feel short of issuing a national proclamation to nationally recognize the day in 1924. In 1957, Maine Senator, Margaret Chase Smith, chastised Congress for ignoring fathers for forty years while at the same time was willing to recognize mothers. In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation to recognize Father’s Day, designating the third Sunday in June for its observance. Finally, in 1972, President Richard M. Nixon signed a bill from Congress establishing the third Sunday in June a date for the perpetual observance of Father’s Day.

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* Father’s Day *

* Father’s Day *

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Written by Dr. Stephen FlickNumber of posts: 219
Concerned with the cultural decay of America, Dr. Flick has sought to provide answers to fellow Christians (and unbelievers) concerning the questions and objections to Christianity often posed by secularists and the irreligious. Dr. Flick is Christian Heritage Fellowship’s executive director and resides in East Tennessee with his wife, Beth. He spent 12 years as a Seminary professor and has been a licensed minister for more than thirty years, during which time he has served as pastor, revival and camp meeting evangelist, interim pastor, and other ministerial roles. He has authored numerous articles concerning America’s Christian heritage. Dr. Flick earned his Ph.D. from Drew University in theology and church history.

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