The History of Father’s Day

The tradition of Father’s Day has been celebrated around the world for over 100 years. The day honours the role fathers and father figures play in our families and society.

How did Father’s Day start?

Father’s Day, as we know it, began in America during the early 20th century.

The first known Father’s Day Service was organised by Grace Golden Clayton on 5th July 1908 in West Virginia. The service was to honour all fathers, especially those who were killed by a devastating local mine explosion. Whilst this appears to be the first Father’s Day celebration, it did not become an annual event and very few people outside of the area knew about it.

The following year in Washington, Sonora Smart Dodd had the idea to create a special day to honour fathers during a Mother’s Day church service.

Dodd’s mother died during childbirth when she was just sixteen-years-old. Her widowed father was left to raise Dodd and her five younger brothers alone.

A year later Dodd convinced several local church communities to set aside a Sunday in June to celebrate fathers. They chose the third Sunday in June and delivered their sermons on 19th June 1910. On this day Dodd also delivered fresh-cut roses to fathers and boys from the YMCA. She gifted them red flowers for living fathers and white roses if their fathers were no longer with us. This celebration started Dodd’s mission of promoting Father’s Day. Over the next 50 years, she travelled America campaigning for Father’s Day to be recognised nationally.

Eventually, in 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation that officially declared the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day.

How is Father’s Day celebrated today?

Now Father’s Day is celebrated across the world to recognise the contribution that fathers and father figures make. Some people try to visit their fathers, while others give cards or other gifts. Children often make cards for their dads and some families have a special celebratory lunch.

When is Father’s Day celebrated in The UK?

Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June in the UK and many other countries across the world.

Four Fun Father’s Day Facts

  1. According to greetings card makers Hallmark, Father’s Day is the fifth-largest card-sending celebration of the year.
  2. In Germany, Father’s Day is a public holiday for everybody. Known as Vatertag or Männertag (Men’s day) it involves drinking lots of beer, riding a beer bike, and behaving irresponsibly!
  3. The most popular Father’s Day present is a tie.
  4. The Russian, Feodor Vassilyev (1707-1782), holds the world record for having the most children. He is said to have fathered a whopping 87 children. 16 pairs of twins, 7 sets of triplets and 4 sets of quadruplets with his first wife and a further 6 pairs of twins and 2 sets of triplets with his second.

If you are looking for a gift for Father’s Day, Inscripture creates a range of bespoke items including jewellery and keyrings. Many of the products can be personalised with foot or handprints, a child’s drawing or handwriting, discover the full range.