Sunday, June 18, 2017

Thanksgiving on Father's Day


First there is this from The Writer's Almanac:

Today is Father's Day. The exact origins of Father's Day are in dispute, with some saying the celebratory day was founded by a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd and some saying it was Grace Golden Clayton.

What is known is that the first Father's Day celebration to take place, at least in Washington State, happened on June 19, 1910, at the behest of Sonora Smart Dodd. She got the idea to celebrate dads after listening to a Mother's Day sermon. Her own mother had died giving birth and Dodd's father, a Civil War veteran, raised all six children by himself on a farm. Dodd thought the ministrations and hard work of fathers deserved recognition, too.

A few years earlier, however, Grace Golden Clayton suggested to her Methodist minister that a celebration of the fathers killed in the December 1907 explosion at the Fairmont Coal Company was in order. More than 300 men lost their lives in the explosion. That celebration took place on July 5 of 1908.

Regardless of who came up with the idea, it caught on, and by 1924 even President Calvin Coolidge was on board. He recommended it be a national holiday, but was rebuffed. It wasn't until President Lyndon B. Johnson signed an executive order in 1966 that Father's Day became an official celebration, on the third Sunday of June.


And there is this personal postscript:

Today is more than a reason to send a card or give a gift. Today is a time for thanksgiving. I never knew my biological father. He got cold feet and was gone to God knows where before I was born to an unwed mother. But I did have a real father, my uncle, who adopted me when he was nearly 50 and I was a toddler. For sixteen years, until his death, he gave me a home, a life, and love. Yes, today is a time for thanksgiving.



5 comments:

  1. You are fortunate, indeed, Tim, to have had a father in your life, even though he wasn't your biological father. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Yes, Margot, my family history is not unique but is peculiar, much more so than I've already highlighted, and my family tree with its twisted roots and branches would confuse the hell out of genealogists, but life for everyone has peculiarlities.

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  2. quite Dickensian one might say... i hope and trust things did turn out all right in the end... seems like it, anyhow....
    the horrors of child labor in Dickens: i hope you didn't have to go through that...

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    1. Dickens? More like Erskine Caldwell or William Faulkner but with Yankees.

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    2. i married a lady with two young kids and adopted them... now one is a veterinarian and the other is with a large insurance outfit... what goes around comes around...

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