LET'S CELEBRATE DAD! / by Eric Monteiro

Every year, Father’s day and the Summer Solstice are within a day or two of each other, so Father’s Day is always an opportunity to kick off the summer with a fun, family celebration. With summer in the air and the kids already in holiday mode, this day lends itself to all sorts of outdoor fun.

Take the time to plan a special day for Dad, the possibilities are endless! Camping, fishing, kayaking, wind-surfing, sailing or maybe just kick back at home, spark up the grill and spend a day relaxing and enjoying good food! For ideas and culinary tips for a gourmet grill, check out the post by Thierry Isambert Culinary and Event Design’s Chef Michael Finizia, here.

Father’s Day was first conceived of in the early 20th century in response to Mother’s Day (see the history of Mother’s Day here.) The first Father’s Day celebration took place in Spokane, Washington, in 1910. It was initiated by Sonora Smart Dodd, daughter of civil war veteran, William Jackson Smart, who raised his six children alone. Sonora Smart heard of the first Mother’s Day celebration and told her pastor that fathers should be honored with their own day too. She initially suggested June 5th, her father’s birthday, but the pastor didn’t have time to prepare and deferred the celebration to June 19th.  Clergymen across Spokane caught on to the idea and Father’s Day was honored across the city on June 19th, 1910.

Without any official proclamation designating the holiday, the celebration faded in the years following, until Sonora Smart Dodd revived it again in the 1930s. She was backed by trade groups that would benefit from the holiday, such as the manufacturers of ties, tobacco pipes and other traditional gifts for men. In fact, this backing by merchants caused Americans to resist the holiday for a few decades, seeing it as only an attempt to generate more sales.

In 1957, Margaret Chase Smith, a senator in Maine, stood up and accused congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers and “singling out just one of our two parents.” Finally, President Lyndon B. Johnson made the first presidential proclamation designating Father’s Day as the 3rd Sunday in June. Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972, making it a permanent national holiday.

Have a great Father’s Day on June 19th! Wishing you a day full of fun, sun, family and good food!