Do you know the U.S. history of Father’s Day? Why not take the following quiz and find out?

True or False?

1. Father’s Day was started in 1910 by the Stanley Greeting Card Co. in an effort to increase profits.

2. This special day was created by a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd, whose single parent father, raised her and five other children.

3. Father’s Day in 2050 will be on June 19.

4. By the 1920s, recognition of this event had pretty much run its course.

5. By the late 1930s, Many cynics rejected the remembrance, figuring it was just another scam to sell merchandise.

6. Congress officially recognized the holiday in 1938.

7. President Richard Nixon in 1972, two years before he resigned in disgrace, signed the holiday into law.

8. The actual founder of the first Father’s Day remains controversial.

9. The term “Father’s Day” is grammatically correct.

10. Some are now promoting the idea that Mother’s and Father’s Days be replaced with “Parents’ Day.”

Answers:

1. False. Actually, the first “real” Father’s Day, with any recognition outside of a local community, was created by a woman in Spokane, Wash., back in 1910.

2. True. Sometimes, fathers do get handed the brunt of all the work.

3. True. In the U.S., Father’s Day is always celebrated on the third Sunday in June.

4. True. But by the 1930s, Dodd got the ball rolling again by seeking national recognition.

5. True. The is no shortage of cynics.

6. False. Despite recommendations by two presidents, Congress ignored the idea. The first official governmental recognition came as late as 1966 with a proclamation signed by President Lyndon Johnson. Despite what you hear about lack of female “gender equality” in those days, Mother’s Day was in place 40 years before fathers got any official recognition.

7. True. (See, he wasn’t all bad.)

8. True. In 1907, a “Father’s Day” memorial service was held for scores of West Virginia miners, who were killed in a tragic accident. In 1911, another woman, Jane Addams, proposed a citywide dad’s day in Chicago, but was rejected. There were others, but Dodd was the real leader of the national movement, including her influence on President Johnson to declare his proclamation in 1966.

9. False. When speaking of more than one father, the apostrophe should come after the “s.” However, an argument has been made that even though the holiday includes all fathers, each child pays homage to a specific one and therefore, an apostrophe before the “s” makes sense (at least that’s how some rationalize it).

10. True. Because of traditional family structural disintegration, some are promoting this idea as an alternative. But so far, moms’ and pops’ days prevail.

So there you have it. The history behind Father’s Day you were never taught in school. Now you know the holiday is more than just another necktie to hang in dad’s closet, or a “Do you want fries with that?” dinner.

Steve Hansen is a Lodi writer.

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