Essays

Father’s Day

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It seems Father’s Day had a hard time becoming official. Research turned up an unofficial date in 1839 to commemorate fathers who went to war and died defending an outpost. The next mention of Father’s Day was 1908, when a church in West Virginia held the first religious service to celebrate dads.

Then in 1910, Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd decided to recognize her father in the same way mothers were acclaimed on Mother’s Day. Mrs. Dodd’s efforts rallied others to action. In 1924, President Coolidge raised the idea of fathers having a national day of recognition.

As we all know, the wheels of government turn slowly, but in 1966, President Lyndon Johnson set the date: the third Sunday in June. And finally in 1972, President Nixon signed the bill that made Father’s Day an official holiday.

Here in Carpenter Country, the guy that does the heavy lifting is indispensable. Since one of his admirable traits is unpretentious humility, he’s declined a flag waving ceremony. Instead he’ll be feted with what he likes most–meat loaf and mashed potatoes.

Later, in a special tribute to honor his two most recent good deeds–shooing a snake out of the clothes closet and a lizard out of the car–he’ll be rewarded with lots and lots of dark, rich chocolate.

Happy Father’s Day to him, and to all the millions of men who are dad, daddy, pop, pa or papa to someone.

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