Saturday, June 19, 2010


The men in our lives...they are always there, in the background – with a shoulder to lean on and a steady love that is too often taken for granted. Once each year, on the third Sunday in June, there is a chance to remind fathers, and the men who step in when fathers are not available, that all of their quiet efforts are appreciated.

You may think that Father's Day is a modern invention, but the truth is that a Babylonian youth named Elmesu carved the first known Father's Day card in clay nearly 4,000 years ago. His special message wished his father good health and a long life. Fortunately, modern cards are a bit easier to fit in the mail box!

Mother's Day and William Jackson Smart of Spokane, Washington were the inspiration for an official day to celebrate Father’s Day in the United States.

Mr. Smart was a widower who raised his six children after his wife died giving birth to the youngest. He was a single parent for 21 years. This may not seem amazing in the 21st century, but in the 1800s it was unheard of for a man to raise children alone...and even today being a single parent of six young children is heroic!

Smart’s daughter, Mrs. Sonora Smart-Dodd (Mrs. John Bruce Dodd), got the idea for Father’s Day in 1909 while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon at her church. She encouraged local churches to institute a Father's Day observance the following year on a Sunday in June, the month of her father’s birthday. Through her efforts, interest in the celebration of Father’s Day grew and spread to other cities, states and countries. She also encouraged wearing roses on Father's Day in honor of fathers. A red rose was worn for fathers who were still living and a white rose honored fathers who had died.

Many congressional resolutions proclaiming a national Father’s Day in the United States were introduced through the years. President Lyndon B. Johnson recognized the 3rd Sunday of June as Father's Day with a presidential proclamation in 1966, but the holiday was not really made permanent until 1972 when President Richard Nixon signed a presidential resolution that made the third Sunday in June officially Father’s Day in the United States. 

Most people around the world celebrate Father's Day, but the dates to honor dads are not the same everywhere. In many countries the customs and traditions may be very different than the ones you know.

The earliest record of Father's Day was found in the ruins of Babylon. A young boy named Elmesu carved a Father's Day message on a card made out of clay nearly 4,000 years ago. He wished his Babylonian father good health and a long life.

No one knows what happened to Elmesu or his father, but the tradition of having a special day honoring fathers has continued through the years in countries all around the world. 

In many countries, where the Catholic Church has had a important influence on the culture, Father's Day is celebrated on St. Joseph's Day (March 19). In recent times a secular celebration, not associated with any religion, has been celebrated in many of these countries to reflect the increased diversity of the people who live there. Some families choose one of the dates to celebrate Father's Day and ignore the other day, but some lucky dads actually get to celebrate Father's Day twice every year!

When is Father's Day where you live?

Argentina - the third Sunday in June
Australia - the first Sunday in September
Belgium - St. Joseph's Day & the second Sunday in June
Brazil - the second Sunday in August
Bulgaria - June 20
Canada - the third Sunday in June
Chile - the third Sunday in June
Denmark - the second Sunday in November
Finland - the second Sunday in November
France - the third Sunday in June
Germany - Ascension Thursday (40 days after Easter)
India - the third Sunday in June
Japan - the third Sunday in June
Lithuania - the first Sunday in June
Netherlands - the third Sunday in June
New Zealand - the first Sunday in September
Norway - the second Sunday in November
Portugal - St. Joseph's Day March 19
Spain - St. Joseph's Day March 19
Sweden - the second Sunday in November
Taiwan - August 8 ( in the Mandarin dialect of the Chinese language which many people speak in Taiwan, the numbers for this date – 8/8 – make the sound "ba ba"...and that is the same sound as the word father!)
Thailand - December 5 (This is the birthday of King Bhumibol Adulyadej)
United Kingdom - the third Sunday in June
United States - the third Sunday in June

Walk a Little Slower Daddy

"Walk a Little slower, Daddy." said a little child so small.
I'm following in your footsteps and I don't want to fall.
Sometimes your steps are very fast, sometimes they're hard to see;
So walk a little slower Daddy, for you are leading me.
Someday when I'm all grown up, You're what I want to be.
Then I will have a little child who'll want to follow me.
And I would want to lead just right, and know that I was true;
So, walk a little slower, Daddy, for I must follow you!!
- Author Unknown

You've Been Everything To Me

You've been everything to me: a father,
Teacher, playmate, model, conscience, friend.
Sometimes I'm not certain why you bother,
If your feelings on my words depend.
I know I haven't been the child I should:
Far from it, and I really can't say why.
I know exactly what I'd label good,
But in the real world something goes awry.
Underneath my actions there is love,
Gratitude, respect, and admiration.
Sometimes I don't know what I'm thinking of,
But I thank God you're in for the duration.
I'm sorry, sorry for the things I do,
But please believe I cherish Mom and you.
- Author Unknown

A Father Means

A Father means so many things...
A understanding heart,
A source of strength and of support
Right from the very start.
A constant readiness to help
In a kind and thoughtful way.
With encouragement and forgiveness
No matter what comes your way.
A special generosity and always affection, too
A Father means so many things
When he's a man like you...
- Author Unknown

A Father's Wish



I may fail to be as clever
    as my neighbor down the street,
I may fail to be as wealthy
    as some other men I meet,
I may never win the glory
    which a lot of men have had,
But I've got to be successful
    as a little fellow's dad.
There are certain dreams I cherish
    which I'd like to see some true,
There are things I would accomplish
    when my time of life is through,
But the task my heart is on
    is to guide a little lad
And to make myself successful
    as that little fellow's dad.
I may never come to glory,
    I may never gather gold,
Men may list me with the failures
    when my business life is told,
But if he who follows after
    shall be manly, I'll be glad,
For I'll know I've been successful
    as that little fellow's dad.
It's the one job that I dream of,
    it's the task I think of most,
If I fail that growing youngster,
    I'd have nothing else to boast;
For though wealth and fame I'd gathered,
    all my future would be sad...
If I failed to be successful
    as that little fellow's dad.
- Author Unknown

Father's Day Quotes

“By the time a man realizes that maybe his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks he's wrong.” ~ Charles Wadsworth
 “A father is a fellow who has replaced the currency in his wallet with the snapshots of his kids.”

 “Those who trust us educate us.” ~ T.S. Eliot
“It is a wise father that knows his own child.” ~ William Shakespeare

“A father is a banker provided by nature.” ~ Proverb

“A man knows he is growing old because he begins to look like his father.” ~Gabriel Garcia Marquez
“My father always wanted to be the corpse at every funeral, the bride at every wedding, and the baby at every christening” ~Alice Roosevelt Longworth
“One father is enough to govern one hundred sons, but not a hundred sons one father” ~George Herbert
“It is a wise child that knows his own father” ~Homer
“A father's words are like a thermostat that sets the temperature in the house” ~Paul Lewis
FATHER'S DAY HISTORY & POEMSSocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

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