Father, My Father

“I love my daddy. My dad is the best,” you say proudly and so is the story of dads, the world around. Dad, papa, father, no matter how you address him even in your mother tongue, he is the guiding force in a healthy family. The Father’s Day is far gone, but the cards and news stories keep the day alive, and the reasons for me to write.

Thanks to Sonora Smart-Dodd, we have an exclusive day – the third Sunday in June – to honour not only our fathers but also those who are our father figures.
Though legend says that a Babylonian youth named Elmesu carved the first known Father’s Day card in clay with a special message that wished his father good health and a long life, it was Sonora’s efforts that bore fruit.

Sonora’s father William Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran and widower raised his six children single-handedly. For Sonora, it was hero worship. On Mother’s Day, in 1909, when she was listening to the sermons at the church, she got the idea to have a Father’s Day observation.

The following year Sonora convinced the local churches and celebrated Father’s Day honouring her father on his birthday. She also encouraged the concept of roses – a red rose was worn for fathers who were still living and a white rose to honour the dead.

With time, Father’s Day has been much commercialised and you have an option to choose from a variety of cards and gifts. Interestingly, a National survey (US) shows the evolution of the Father’s Day gift, from Old Spice and leisure suits to DVDs and plasma TVs.

Her interest and efforts paid off well, as the then US President proclaimed it a law; and President Richard Nixon in 1972 established a permanent national observance of Father’s Day on the third Sunday of June. Today Father’s Day is a universal concept and celebrated across countries.

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