Father's Day

Father's Day is just around the corner and many of you are surely planning to buy cards and presents for our fathers, grandfathers and other paternal figures. Father's Day is celebrated every year on third Sunday in June and this year it falls on June 18.

The day originated in the US and has been celebrated on the third Sunday in June since 1966, when President Lyndon B Johnson issued the first proclamation honouring fathers. President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972. However, one of the first observances took place in 1908 in Fairmont, West Virginia, at the local church, to honour the 361 men killed in the Monongah Mining disaster at the end of 1907.

Inspired by Anna Jarvis' work to establish Mother's Day two months earlier, Grace Golden Clayton initiated efforts to celebrate male parenting by campaigning for her father and other men, who were killed in the mining accident, to be honoured in a service.

But, Clayton's Father's Day event did not catch on immediately as it was largely overshadowed by the Independence Day celebrations on 4 July.

In 1910, Sonora Dodd, from Spokane in Washington, began to campaign for a Father's Day after hearing a Mother's Day sermon. Dodd had been raised by their father as a single parent after the death of their mother.

Dodd successfully campaigned for Father's Day to be formally recognized with the help of her local church. Initially, the day was observed in her hometown, but later several towns across the US started celebrating Father's Day.

Father's Day is not a public holiday in the UK, but still it is widely observed with cards and gift-giving. It is celebrated on other dates around the world.