On the 3rd September, it’s the day that dads (and father figures) across the nation are pampered from dawn and over the consecutive 18 hours. Tracing the back the history of this day, it originated in Spokane, Washington (U.S.) in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd. Her dad, the Civil War veteran (William Jackson Smart) raised his six kids and Sonora rightfully felt that William required a day of honoring and celebrating. This was based on the idea popping into her head while she listened to a Mother’s Day sermon in church, the previous year.
Sonora felt mothers were getting all the praise with their own celebrated day…but why not her father? Too right Sonora! Her dad was quite a character. William was a war vet, as we already mentioned, and a widower when his wife died during her sixth child birth. Raising the rugrats all by himself was obviously a huge ordeal. So Sonora decided to pay homage to him, and all dads with her brainwave. Originally, the national date was to be the 5th June (the anniversary of William’s death) but other folks were disorganized and it moved to the third Sunday in June. Now, around the world, countries celebrate Dad’s Day on different, scheduled dates but the foundation purpose always remains intact: it’s all about him!
Then again, there are a few conflicts about the above story, with a second explanation rearing its head. It’s been told that in Fairmont, West Virginia on 5th July 1908, Grace Golden Clayton had a revelation. She suggested to her local minister (Methodist church) that they hold a celebration service of the 361 fathers killed in a mine explosion.
Regardless of whether Grace or Sonora initiated this concept, in 1924, it was proposed that Dad’s Day became a national holiday…but this unofficial suggestion fell by the wayside. By the time Lyndon B. Johnson rose to presidential power, in 1966 he created an executive order to make it official. Even though stamped and sealed, it took another six years for Nixon’s administration to officially recognise it. That’s politics for you.
On the first Sunday each September, Aussies bow down to dads and father figures, adore them with excessive BBQ food and drag them to the beach or park. From all of us, to all those amazing dads, if it gets too much and you need a break, you can always swing by our hotel, stare at the Sydney skyline from Cremorne Point and be thankful those kids are in your life. They may drive you nuts but wouldn’t life be dull without them!