The first Father’s Day was recognized on July 19, 1910 in the state of Washington. The day didn’t become a nationwide holiday until 1972, 58 years after President Woodrow Wilson signed to make Mother’s Day an official holiday.
Why did it take so long to recognize fathers for everything they contribute to their children’s lives? Well, according to one unnamed florist, “Fathers haven’t the same sentimental appeal that mothers have.” As I said last month, throughout history, many men have been defined by their physical strength. Fathers are no exception; take for example Zeus, who, in ancient Greek mythology, was known as the Father of Gods and men. Rarely will you see a depiction of Zeus without his trusty lightning bolt. A handful of lightning doesn’t scream tenderness.
Society can act as a mirror, projecting our insecurities back on us. Part of the reason there is a 58-year gap between officially recognizing Mother’s Day and Father’s Day is the idea that men wouldn’t consider a day to honor their contribution to the family dynamic as “manly.” In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge championed for the observance of Father’s Day. Coolidge met much pushback as men proclaimed their aversion to the holiday. A historian is quoting as saying men, “scoffed at the holiday’s sentimental attempts to domesticate manliness with flowers and gift-giving.” For men, especially fathers, one thing you should never be insecure about is showing a sensitive side. Hugging your kid doesn’t make you any less tough. Go ahead and cry during the sad part of a Disney movie. It’s OK. You won’t lose your man card. Don’t believe me? There is a photo floating around the Internet of Chuck Norris giving a friendly hug to Bruce Lee. Go ask Chuck to see his man card.
Just as mothers, fathers need to be recognized daily for their contributions to our future. A study which examined 10,000 children revealed that a father’s love is just as important as a mother’s love in the emotional development of a child. That, my friends, is a strength that cannot be measured by throwing lightning bolts.