Father’s Day Sunday June 21, 2020
The Birth of Father’s Day
As we celebrate Father’s Day, it’s interesting to note that its origins have more to do with a reaction to Mother’s Day than a tribute to fathers.
The first official Father’s Day celebration was June 19, 1910, in Spokane, Washington. The idea for the celebration came from a Spokane resident named Sonora Smart Dodd, who conceived Father’s Day just a few weeks earlier when she was listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in her church. (The first American Mother’s Day observance was held just two years earlier, in West Virginia.). Dodd’s father had raised six children alone, and she thought that father’s like hers should not go unrecognized.
Though Mother’s Day would be proclaimed a nationwide observance in 1914, Father’s Day lagged way behind. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge recommended that states hold their own Father’s Day observance, if they wished. But it wasn’t until 1972 that President Richard Nixon permanently established it as a day to honor fathers.
“Mother’s Day had started during the time of the suffragettes, and it was a way to reaffirm the role of the women in the home, so there was a cause behind it,” said Bryan LeBeau, a professor of American history at Creighton University in Omaha, Neb., and an expert in national holidays. “But Father’s Day was a reaction to Mother’s Day, and the father’s role was pretty clear, so there wasn’t the same kind of sentiment behind it. And I think because of that society has never been as focused on Father’s Day.”
From Beth Laughton Carter:
My Dad was the one you wanted to tend you when injured or sick. He would have made a fine doctor. He helped bring up 8 younger siblings along with his older sister. Ten children is a handful for any mother.
It was my dad who recognized my gifts at an early age. In my teens he made sure I knew where the former Verona Island Spiritualist Camp Grounds were. The buildings were falling down at that time, but I believe the Verona Island Historical Society does have a history on that encampment. He always made a point to drive by Camp Etna when we would be traveling to Bangor. For some reason he never mentioned Madison Camp or Temple Heights Spiritual Camp, so they evidently were not his favorites when attending Colby College or perhaps the other two were more accessible. I know dad’s baby sister had the gift on that side of the family. I think he was pleased that I was married in a Spiritualist Church.
When my daughter broke her leg, Dad took care of her. Why? I was going to Husson College after my divorce and working 35 hours a week at Governor’s Restaurant. Mom had just left on a trip to England and Scotland with a teacher’s group. Most did not know my dad could cook. He kept that a hidden fact until Mom was injured in a car accident when I was 15. She was in the hospital for several weeks from her injuries. It was Dad who taught me how to make biscuits! When taking care of my daughter he prepared all the meals. At the age of 12 she was amazed with her Granddad’s abilities!
My son was left a widower and the new mother/father of two preteens suddenly (ages 9 & 11). He did a fine job of raising his son and daughter alone. They are both out of high school and college now and are very fine young adults. In this day and age many men are both father and mother or they share child rearing 50/50 with their partner, unlike in the past. This brings a much better balance to family life.
From Mike Carter:
You never know how much you are influenced by your Father. My Dad was a teacher, a high school principal, not to mention a character of undying patience.
My Father had an uncanny ability to communicate with young people. He could cut through the teen age angst and poutiness to get to the core of a problem. Years later, after his retirement, I asked him how he did it and he gave me this advice. The human brain isn’t even wired correctly until twenty or twenty-one. Therefore, treat every young person like a four-year-old, just don’t let them know it. I’ve used this advice many times since our conversation.
My Dad’s form of discipline wasn’t to get physical or to yell and scream, although I’m sure that he came close a few times. His method of correction was to keep asking the question, “why”? Why did you think it was fun to hit your brother? What made you think that your Mother and I wouldn’t find out who broke the glass in the China closet? The phrase, “I don’t know”, was never a satisfactory answer. The questions kept up until there was a full confession and redemption. I think that we all (6 of us) were good just to avoid the interrogation.
But I think more about the guy walking around on stilts in his coat and tie. I think about the camping trips and the early morning campfires. Dad took many high school senior boys trips up Mt. Katahadin just to give them the outing. There was the time when he tried to move my sister’s horse from the stable to the paddock and the horse, in her Springtime excitement, threw him every way she could, but to no avail. Dad hung on like a cowboy.
Perhaps the best thing that I learned from my Dad was to respect everyone. To treat everyone with understanding and tolerance. “You’re no better and no lesser than any person walking.”, he’d say. This one lesson, I believe, has been the one true guidepost in my life. Sometimes it is to my chagrin, but most times it has been a blessing and a reward.
Words from a few well-known individuals:
“When I was a boy of 14 my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned in 7 years.” Mark Twain
(Remind your dad that he’s the smartest guy you know or send a message off to spirit thanking him. Beth)
It’s only when you grow up and step back from him- or leave him for your own home – it’s only then that you can measure his greatness and fully appreciate it.” Margaret Truman
“The older I get, the smarter my father seems to get.” Tim Russet in “Big Russ and Me”