Where would we be without dads? Honestly, who would show off “dad jeans,” tell the same somewhat amusing jokes at Thanksgiving, or spin those charming childhood stories? But of course there’s far more to dads than their wardrobe choices and endless nostalgia for the 1970s. (Elton John, David Bowie, and Queen — we get it.) Still, dads are heroes. On June 21 be sure to let him know how much he means to you. Oh, and don’t forget to check out National Today News for last-minute Father’s Day gift ideas.
History of Father’s Day
Far from a “Hallmark holiday,” Father’s Day has its origins in medieval Europe, when Catholics dedicated a day to honoring fathers, fatherhood, and all paternal relationships. Fast forward a couple hundred years, and it’s now a holiday held all over the world — a testament to how important fathers and father figures are in societies everywhere. However, be careful. The date fluctuates around the world. In Spain, for example, it’s held on March 19, while in New Zealand, it’s the first Sunday in September. Keep this in mind if you’re traveling, or have family living overseas. There are few things more upsetting than a disappointed dad.
Father’s Day in America has a rich history dating back to the turn of the 20thcentury. But to really understand Father’s Day we must go back to the post-civil war reconstruction era of the 1860s and a day that celebrates the other half of the parenting duo, mothers.
The idea of celebrating parents has its roots in one woman: Ann Reeves Jarvis. Shortly after the Civil War, Jarvis sought to soothe the wounds created over four years of bitter conflict in one divided West Virginia town by choosing a day to celebrate mothers of both confederate and Union soldiers. Known as “Mother’s Work Days” Jarvis hoped that during the newly installed era of peace and reconciliation that previous enemies could begin to sow unity again by celebrating one thing they all had in common.
Mother’s Day Influence
Fast forward more than 40 years to 1908 and another member of the Jarvis family, Anna Jarvis, took up the mantle of her mother and created the very first official Mother’s Day by convincing the John Wanamaker department store to sponsor a celebration of mothers in its auditorium. President Woodrow Wilson approved a resolution six years later making the second Sunday in May Mother’s Day.
At nearly the same time that Anna Jarvis was codifying Mothers Day, an effort was underway to extend the same adulation to fathers. A woman named Sonora Smart Dodd, who had been raised by her widowed father in Spokane, Washington, sought to establish a day for fathers — and the following year — Washington state celebrated the first Father’s Day on June 19, 1910.
Slowly, other states began doing the same but Father’s Day lacked the sentimental appeal that Mother’s Day enjoyed which dramatically slowed its adoption nationwide. Over the years many attempts were made to boost interest in making Father’s Day a national holiday. In fact, the idea enjoyed support from some powerful forces including Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan and President Calvin Coolidge. Unfortunately, efforts never came to fruition. Finally, President Nixon made Father’s Day official in 1972.
Father’s Day Key Stats
Americans spent $14 billion on Father’s Day gifts in 2016
34% of Father’s Day shoppers will buy their dad a gift online.
Millennials spent the most money on Father’s Day gifts in 2015. Roughly $160 per gift.
76% of Americans celebrate Father’s Day
37% of Dads say they want gift cards for Father’s Day
87 million greetings cards are sold for Father’s Day
Inspirational Father’s Day Quotes
“A father is a man who expects his son to be as good a man as he meant to be.” ―Frank A. Clark
“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” ―Jim Valvano
“He adopted a role called being a father so that his child would have something mythical and infinitely important: a protector.” ―Tom Wolfe
“Anyone who tells you fatherhood is the greatest thing that can happen to you, they are understating it.” ―Mike Myers
6 Things Dads Like to Do
No two dads are exactly the same. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have similarities. One of the biggest ways dads find common ground are in the things they like to do. Often, those things are playful, relaxing, or just plain silly. Here are a few of our favorite things many dads like to do.
1. Play golf – Dads love to play golf. We think it’s because it takes place on a giant lawn that they don’t have to mow. Perhaps it’s because they tap into their inner speed demon whirling around the course with reckless abandon on those electric golf carts. Or maybe, they just like the peace and quiet. We know it is not because golf is a relaxing game. Using metal clubs to get a 1.5-inch diameter ball into a 4.25-inch diameter hole from several hundred yards away sounds maddening to us. But dads are funny like that.
2. Channel surfing – Dads are never satisfied with just watching one episode of “NCIS,” they need to toggle back and forth between that and reruns of “CSI Miami” and “Law & Order.” Only at commercials, mind you. And they have a preternatural ability to know when the commercial break on their original program has ended so as not to miss a moment of Detective Gibbs inexplicably carrying three large coffees with one hand.
3. Calling at inopportune times – Speaking of preternatural abilities, Dads love to call you (either on the phone or from the bottom of the stairs in a loud booming voice) at the worst possible times. Perhaps you’re just about to step into the shower, or are about to get that illicit tattoo you’ve been dreaming about for years and you know Dad won’t approve of. Either way, be prepared, Dads gonna call. He knows.
4. Telling horrible jokes – This is one thing Dads do that we love to hate (but secretly love to love). Dad jokes are a dad’s bread and butter. They are silly, often witty, but eminently embarrassing quips that are often composed of the best/worst puns you’ve ever heard.
5. Grilling – Dads love fire. It taps into their primordial desire to provide for the family. We know that dads know their way around a kitchen, but their true love is outdoor cooking. Any large group of dads will stand around the grill discussing the finer points of charring, the benefits of gas vs. charcoal, and ultimately judging each other’s ability to know when a steak is medium rare. It’s fun for them and delicious for us. Let them have this one.
6. Complaining about sports – To hear dads tell it, they’re all a bunch of bums. Regardless of the team, the sport, the management, or the possibility of trading up for first round draft pick, Dads have some opinions on the finer points of play on the field and off. He knows better than the coaches when it’s important to “go for two” and will lament how the refs never call anyone for traveling any longer. Any diversion from “the fundamentals” will get their ire up and if you’re watching along on a Sunday afternoon, you’re gonna hear about it.
Regardless of what your dad likes to do, make sure you indulge him this Father’s Day. He’s earned it after all.
5 Definitive Dad Jokes
You’re probably well aware of the dad joke. It’s a silly, punny, phenomenon that is G-rated enough for all ages, but often witty enough to make adults smile.
But where do they come from?
The first known use of the phrase is difficult to pin down though it has shown up in print over the last few decades. But it’s real popularity runs parallel with the rise of the internet. It first showed up online in 2003 and received its coveted Urban Dictionary entry around this time, but it would be another 10 years before the term became more prominent showing up in pop culture and on television shortly thereafter. Now even presidents tell dad jokes…intentionally.
Though the term is new, the concept is much older. Dads have been telling jokes forever. The oldest known joke book was compiled in the 4th century and while those jokes are considerably more bawdy than anything that would be considered a dad joke, the witty wordplay and bait-and-switch punchlines are already there making dad jokes positively medieval.
What are the best/worst dad jokes? Glad you asked. We scoured the internet for some of the most fun dad jokes we could find (alright, we didn’t have to look that hard, it’s the internet) Here are a few examples. Try not to roll your eyes too hard, they may stick that way.
1. Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon? Great food, no atmosphere.
2. What’s brown and sticky? A Stick.
3. What do you call a deer with no eyes? No idear.
4. The rotation of the Earth really makes my day.
5. Two goldfish are in a tank. One says to the other, “Do you know how to drive this thing?”
Father's Day FAQs
Why is Father's Day the third Sunday in June?
Sonora Smart Dodd, the daughter of an American Civil War veteran, gets credit for establishing Father’s Day. She suggested June 5, her father’s birthday, but her pastors couldn’t prepare sermons in time. They delayed the occasion until the third Sunday of the month.
What about men who are not fathers?
Check out International Men’s Day on November 19. It’s a day for all men to celebrate.
What sporting events happen on Father's Day?
The final round of golf’s U.S. Open.
Game 7 of the NBA Finals (if necessary).
The 2019 NASCAR Xfinity Series CircuitCity.com 250 presented by Tamron — held at the Iowa Speedway in Newton. (2020 date tba)
Why Father's Day and not Fathers' Day?
Although Sonora Smart Dodd originally used the “Fathers’ Day” spelling on her original petition for the holiday, the bill Congress voted on had the alternate spelling. This enables the holiday to apply to individual fathers — as opposed to fathers as a whole.
Father's Day Activities
Make him feel appreciated
One of the best ways to celebrate is to let him know how much you appreciate him. In the days or weeks leading up to Father’s Day, make note of all he does for the household on a daily basis. Then, on Father’s Day, tell him how much you appreciate these small things, and that it doesn’t go unnoticed. Even better, take on these chores or activities for the day, and let him rest and bask in the glow of familial appreciation.
Have a family day
It may be Father’s Day, but often you’ll find what fathers want most in the end is time with the whole family. Talk to dad and see how he feels about a family outing, and choose something everyone, at any age, can take part in. This will give him plenty of memories and stories to bring up at later family gatherings, and what could he want more than that?
Find a gift with meaning
Sure, a new weed trimmer would make him happy, but there’s always room for creativity when giving gifts. A gift with meaning, rather than functionality, may be a welcome change this year. Nostalgic items and homemade projects are always a good idea, but whatever it is, be sure it shows how much you appreciate having dad around, and everything he’s taught you.
Top 5 Dad Jokes Of All Time
Why We Love Father's Day
For better or worse, they make us laugh
Even the most embarrassing dad moments will always make for laugh-out-loud stories later on. And someday you’ll cherish all those times you rolled your eyes at the jokes he tried to tell the waiter at lunch. Dads make us laugh, even if we don’t see it at the time, and that will always be one of their greatest contributions.
They’re great teachers
Changing tires and fixing lawnmowers are just some of dad’s greatest teachings. Dads have been passing along their wisdom for generations, and we can never overlook that. From learning how to work a sickle at the dawn of civilization to showing us how to clean the food gunk out of the kitchen sink, dads have been there through it all to show us the way.
They’re forever patient
Dads put up with a lot. From playing prince (or princess) with their kids to taking care of whatever pet the rest of the family brings home, we can count on dad to come to love it eventually, even if he puts up a small fuss initially. And we can’t thank them enough for this.
Father's Day dates
How to Say Father's Day in Other Languages
|French||Fête des Pères|
|Spanish (Spanish)||Día del Padre|