Father’s Day: a short history

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

Though Father’s Day has origins dating back to the early 1900s, unsurprisingly inspired by the already established commercial holiday, Mother’s Day, it was not officially recognized until 1978, nearly 60 years after Mother’s Day was recognized as a holiday. The idea was simply not met with much enthusiasm even when pursued by President Calvin Coolidge, as gift giving was considered too feminine to be held as exclusively for men. Some called it “Christmas for men.”

Oddly enough, a short-lived movement transpired in the 1920s to eliminate both Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in favor of having a single holiday, Parent’s Day. But after a few rallies the suggestion didn’t stick and when the
Depression hit, enthusiasm for the idea dissolved, leaving the door open for the separate occasions. The idea for a day dedicated to fathers received revived momentum during World War II when the potential to be seen as honoring troops and celebrating the generation struck a chord with both Americans and advertisers.

Father’s Day is today a $1 billion holiday in the U.S. That’s a lot of socks and ties, however, this is still only a little
over half as much spent on Mother’s Day.

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