KYVAN Foods on the long and short history of Father’s Day

School’s out –or will be soon.   Fireflies are out in some parts of the country too.  Spring peepers are calling.

It must be June.

Wiffle ball game


June brings so many events to celebrate.  Beyond birthdays and anniversaries your family may honor every year, graduations and weddings are often on the calendar.  If those aren’t enough Mental Floss offers a number of “offbeat” reasons to celebrate, from National Donut Day (June 6) and World Oceans Day (June8) to “Blame Someone Else Day (nah…let’s skip this one) and Take your Dog to Work Day (June 20, and an idea that has real merit!)


But figuratively speaking, the Granddaddy of June celebrations is Fathers Day.


And it seems to have a particular ritual of its own: handmade cards often from younger children; a game of wiffle ball or badminton with older kids; maybe an outing to a baseball game.  And the day always seems to involve a grill and great meat at some point in time.


Thinking about this annual tradition coming around again got us at KYVAN Foods thinking:  how did it all get started?


Much of the history on Father’s Day points back 105 years to 1910, when Father’s Day was celebrated in Spokane, Washington.   This occasion was brought about by the efforts of Sonora Louise Smart Dodd, who was raised by her father, a civil war veteran, following the death of her mother.  Other accounts of the first Father’s Day in the U.S. point back a couple years earlier, 1908, and West Virginia.


Some historians believe the celebration goes back nearly 4,000 years to ancient Babylon, where a boy called Elmesu carved a Father’s Day message on a card made out of clay. Elmesu wished his Babylonian father good health and a long life.


And although it seems we have been celebrating Father’s Day as long as we can remember, its recognition as a holiday in the U.S. is comparatively recent.  In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson declared that the third Sunday in June would be Father’s Day. President Richard Nixon made this proclamation permanent in 1972.


Whether the history of its celebration is long or short, the vital influence a father has upon his children is undebatable.   And the devotion that great fathers everywhere have for their children is a force that moves hearts and mountains alike.


We’ll have some Father’s Day trivia coming the next few weeks – watch for it on the KYVAN Foods Facebook and Twitter pages.


KYVAN Foods wishes all fathers and their families a very happy and blessed Father’s Day in 2015.  We’re eager to hear about your Father’s Day traditions around the country too.  Please share your stories and pictures!