Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Father's Day

Well, All About Jewellery can't really mean "All About Jewellery for Women" and I guess I have to give some space eventually to Jewellery for Men, especially with Father's Day just around the corner. This led me to investigate how Father's Day came about and, before we talk any more about jewellery for men, I thought it might be interesting to share with you the history of Father's Day. I have to say I found it quite touching.

Father's Day took off in USA when a woman by the name of Sonara Smart Dodd, listening to a Mother's Day sermon at her local church, began to think about her father's dedication to his family. Sonara's father, William Stuart, was a Civil War Veteran who had been a single father for 21 years following his wife's death in childbirth with their sixth child. Whilst listening to the sermon, Sonara began to contemplate the hardships and difficulties her father must have faced, and came to the conclusion that fathers' contributions to family life deserved a similar recognition. She worked to encourage churches in her area to recognise the event and, in 1910, the first Father's Day in Spokane, Washington, USA was celebrated. Progess through to an official holiday was slow. In 1924 the idea was given support by President Coolidge but it was not until some 40 years later in 1966 that Pesident Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed that the 3rd Sunday in June would be known as Father's Day. Another six years followed until, in 1972, President Nixon declared it an official holiday. Wearing a rose on Father's Day is customary in the US, with children wearing a red rose for a father who is still alive and a white rose for one who has died.

Father's Day in the UK seems to have been imported from across the Atlantic and, although it is not an official holiday here, we have taken it up as a special day for Dads. We buy Father's Day cards, but typically of the joking variety as compared with the more loving messages and gifts for Mother's Day. One little boy in the US when asked what was Father's Day replied "Just like Mother's Day; except you don't need to spend as much"; an observation borne out by Bill Cosby with his truism "Being a father means pretending your favourite gift is soap-on-a-rope".

While researching I came across a couple of quotes about Father's Day which, as a daughter made me smile and which I am sure will have a resonance with all of us, both parents and offspring.

• "A father is always making his baby into a little woman. And when she is a woman he turns her back again." -- Enid Bagnold

"A father is a guy who has snapshots in his wallet where his money used to be." -- Unknown

"When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years. " Fathers Day Quote by: Mark Twain, "Old Times on the Mississippi" Atlantic Monthly, 1874

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