Father's Day

Why is Father's Day celebrated on 21 June in the United States?

Father's Day has been an official holiday on the US calendar since 1972 although its roots go back to 1910 when Sonora Smart Dodd came up with the idea.

Why is Father's Day celebrated on 21 June in the United States?
CHRISTIAN MONTERROSA EFE

Father's Day in the United States is celebrated on the third Sunday of June each year and that means that it will fall on 21 June this year, coinciding with Donald Trump's return to the presidential campaign trail in Oklahoma. The celebrations this year will also be underpinned by the ongoing protests over the death in police custody of George Floyd - a father of five - in Minneapolis on 25 May. 

Father’s Day USA: stay at home dads

Father's day on 21 June, 2020, will also be impacted by the coronavirus pandemic that has ravaged the country, and this will have a direct impact on the options available for celebrations this month with some travel restrictions still in place

With fresh spikes occuring in over 20 US states in recent days as lockdown restrictions are gradually eased, it has been recommended that spoiling dads is an activity best undertaken at home, avoiding crowded places.

Father's Day in the United States a mother's initiative

A child sits on her father's shoulders as he carries a U.S. flag during a protest against racial inequality in the aftermath of the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd.

Although the celebration in many countries is born out of a Catholic tradition, in the United States it is different and dates back to 19 June 1910 in Spokane, Washington. It was at that time that the first Father's Day in the history of the USA was celebrated, the brainchild of Sonora Smart Dodd.

Dodd was a woman who, along with her five siblings, had been raised by her single father, a Civil War veteran. After witnessing a Mother's Day mass, she realised that there was no date to honour the father that she was so proud of and the following year she went on to inaugurate a new celebration.

It later became popular across the country and in 1924 President Calvin Coolidge announced he wanted to establish Father's Day as a national celebration. That idea, however, was rejected and it was not until 1966 that President Lyndon B. Johnson confirmed Father's Day would be celebrated on the third Sunday of June. In 1972 President Richard Nixon signed a law to make Father's Day a national celebration in the United States.