Historically, women haven’t always had the upper hand, except for Mother’s Day. The national holiday was created nearly 60 years before Father’s Day would officially have the honor. It would take boots on the ground, war and retail.
The first official Father’s Day celebration took place in Washington on June 19, 1910, the third Sunday in June. The first unofficial attempt at honoring fathers came a couple years earlier when a church in West Virginia held a service honoring all fathers and the memory of more than 350 men who died the year before in a Fairmont Coal Company mine explosion.
This one-time event inspired Sonora Smart Dodd, daughter of William Jackson Smart, to establish a day honoring her own father. Sonora Smart Dodd was raised by her widower father alongside her five biological siblings, rounding out Jackson Smart’s total 14 children.
The twice married, twice widowed, Civil War Veteran was a father to 14 children — five from his first marriage, six from his second and his second wife’s three children from a previous marriage. Smart played both parental roles to his children still at home in Spokane, Washington, when his second wife passed away. Sonora, raised by her single father since the age of 16, recounted his parenting as selfless while playing both parental roles for her and her younger siblings.
Deciding to establish a day for fathers equal to Mother’s Day, she began campaigning at local churches, shops and various establishments around town, attempting to rally some support from the community. Mother’s Day was almost immediately a hit with department stores sponsoring events and encouraging individuals to honor mom with special gifts and cards — one would think Father’s Day would be just as simple from a marketing prospective.
While Sonora’s efforts didn’t immediately result in a booming response, she did get a statewide celebration of Father’s Day in Washington on June 19, 1910.
The holiday began slowly gaining traction until the 1920s and 1930s with talks for scrapping both holidays altogether in lieu of one holiday, Parent’s Day. The Great Depression hit and squashed this idea, and it wasn’t until the beginning of World War II advertisers would reintroduce Father’s Day as way to honor all the men in the military and support the troops.
The celebratory day became a national convention, but wouldn’t become a legitimate holiday until President Nixon signed a declaration making Father’s Day a federal holiday in 1972.
Of course, the holiday today is an economic boom for retailers, but at the core is a touching story of a daughter honoring her father and a nation rallying to honor all fathers.
If your family travel brings you to the greater New York City region, opt for a taste of nostalgia (or the grown-ups and fun and imagination for the kids at American Dream’s Nickelodeon Universe. Since I don’t have children, I recruited my best friend and her 6-year-old twins, Declan and Delaney, to help me check out the Nickelodeon-themed theme park and all the ways it brings to life favorite characters from cartoons both past and present, like Rugrats!, which I watched as a child, and Spongebob Square Pants, which is more Declan’s speed.
Embark on a family journey through The Last Frontier with Celebrity Cruises® and experience an unforgettable luxury vacation in the untouched natural beauty of Alaska. The breathtaking landscape of this pristine wilderness sets the stage for every memorable moment from up-close, awe-inspiring views of glaciers to observing native wildlife, including whales, bears, bald eagles, and moose. This corner of the world offers not only spectacular scenery, but also opportunities to learn about the history and culture of Alaska — from the native people who’ve lived here for centuries to the adventurers seeking their fortunes during the gold rush. No matter which sailing you choose, you’ll journey through the ever-popular Inside Passage — one of the most popular experiences on any Alaska vacation — and visit Hubbard Glacier or Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier.
Blue Mountain Resort, located in the Pennsylvania Pocono Mountains, offers plenty of activities for family travel. This past weekend, Blue Mountain Bike Park officially opened for summer. The park offers Pennsylvania’s highest vertical and largest bike park where all mountain bikers, from beginners to experts, can navigate 29 thrilling bike trails.
Family travelers, there’s a new attraction coming to Saudi Arabia, as it prepares to welcome the country’s first and the region’s largest water theme park, currently under development at Qiddiya, the future Capital of Entertainment, Sports and Culture. Qiddiya will sit outside the capital of Riyadh. Falcon’s Creative Group is behind the park’s master plan.
United Airlines officially became the only major U.S. airline to own a flight training school with the opening of United Aviate Academy on Jan. 27. The moment was made even more historic with its inaugural class, which is 80 percent women and people of color.
The island of Lanzarote, in Spain’s Canary Islands, endured a series of devastating volcanic eruptions in the mid-1700s. More than half the island was covered in several feet of molten lava and ash before hardening into impenetrable stone. Vast areas of this stone still cover Lanzarote in an otherworldly landscape of solidified lava. But all Lanzarote’s volcanoes are not dead, and the most active of them is a good place to begin your family travel on Lanzarote.