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  9. Father's Day Facts Even Your Dad Won't Know

Father's Day Facts Even Your Dad Won't Know

Impress Your Dad With These Cool Bits Of Trivia

A father holds his daughter by the hand on the beach


He's the man with a plan (and, if he's like my dad, a really bad tanline). While we love our dads all year long, Father's Day gives us a day dedicated to really cherishing all that they do for us. But just how did this day get started? How does it stack up to other holidays? What about Father's Day around the world? Wonder no more. If your dad's a trivia buff, you can impress him with these 10 cool facts about Father's Day that even he might not know.



1. It all technically started way back in 1908.

That's right; his day has been around (unofficially) for a long time. It can all be traced back to a small event held on July 5, 1908, the result of Grace Golden Clayton's efforts. The previous year, a mining accident devastated her community, killing not just her father, but hundreds of other men. Clayton subsequently organized with her church to set up a day to honor her father and others who were lost during that accident. Unfortunately, however, this event didn't really get much attention outside the local community.


A black and white photography of Grace Golden Clayton, who started the first unofficial Father's Day
Image from D.D. Meighen via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)


2. What most people recognize as the "first" Father's Day occurred a few years later, in 1910.

The more widely known "first" Father's Day took place in Spokane, Washington. A young woman, Sonora Dodd, was moved after hearing about Mother's Day events, and wanted a counterpart event to honor her own single father. She worked with her local YMCA to make it happen on June 19, 1910.


A neon sign with YMCA on it
Image from Thomas Hawk via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)


3. Father's Day didn't officially become a holiday until 1972.

Father's Day is currently a public holiday in the United States, but that didn't happen until relatively recently. You can thank President Richard Nixon for making this holiday official. In 1972, he signed a bill that formally established the third Sunday in June as a public holiday in the States. For comparison, the first Mother's Day event was held in 1908 and became a federal holiday in 1914.


The bill that made Father's Day a public holiday in the United States
Thank Richard Nixon for signing Father's Day into law.


4. There was a lot of resistance against Father's Day at first. . .

While there were many arguments against formally establishing the holiday, a big one was the fear that creating a new holiday would only lead to it becoming commercialized.


A dark gift box with bright blue ribbon on a wooden table


5. . . . and these protests weren't unfounded.

Well, the naysayers weren't wrong. The National Retail Federation (NRF) estimates that, in 2019, spending for this holiday in the United States will reach $16 billion. That's about $139 per person!




6. So, just what is everyone spending their money on?

Okay, $16 billion is a lot of money. So, just what is everyone buying for their dads? According to Entrepreneur, the top gifts are special outings, clothing, gift cards, and electronics.


A man wears a virtual reality helmet


7. So, how does spending for Father's Day stack up against other holidays?

$16 billion is nothing to sneeze at, but that estimate still pales in comparison to other holidays. Take Easter, for example. In 2018, the NRF expected spending for that holiday to reach roughly $150 per person, or up to $18.2 billion nationally. The NRF further estimated spending for Mother's Day in 2019 to reach $25 billion. And in comparison to Christmas? Well, in 2018 the NRF estimated that spending during the winter holidays would reach over $1,000 per person, or up to $720.89 billion in the States!


A line of people hold shopping bags


8. There's a large number of stay-at-home dads in the United States.

According to the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse, there are approximately 70.1 million dads in the country. About 214,000 people were stay-at-home dads in 2013.


A man carries his daughter on the beach


9. And overall, fathers are more involved now.

According to Pew Research Center, dads in 2016 spent about 3x more time on child care than those in 1965. The average time fathers reported spending on child care in any given week was 8 hours in 2016.


A family walks together on the beach


10. What about Father's Day internationally?

While Father's Day is a public holiday in the United States, that's often not the case in several countries, although many do often celebrate Father's Day or an equivalent. However, the day of honoring dads isn't always on the third Sunday of June. Brazilians celebrate the holiday on the second Sunday of August, with the date paying homage to Saint Joachim, the father of the Virgin Mary. And in Thailand, the holiday is held on the birthday (December 5) of their late king, Bhumibol Adulyadej.


A man holds his newborn child at sunset