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Enjoy Father's Day? Thank the woman who spent 62 years campaigning for it.

Father's day

Father's day

On the third Sunday in June, Americans take time to honor fathers and their role in the family and community.

Few Americans are aware of the woman who launched a 62-year campaign to establish the day as a federal holiday.

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Enjoy Father's Day? Thank the woman who spent 62 years campaigning for it.

Enjoy Father's Day? Thank the woman who spent 62 years campaigning for it.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/holidays/reference/fathers-day-campaign-daughter-create-holiday/

nationalgeographic.com

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Key Ideas

Father's day

On the third Sunday in June, Americans take time to honor fathers and their role in the family and community.

Few Americans are aware of the woman who launched a 62-year campaign to establish the day as a federal holiday.

Campaigning for Father’s Day

  • At age 16, Sonora Louise Smart Dodd lost her mother, and her father was left to raise Dodd and her five younger brothers alone.
  • In 1909, Dodd was listening to a Mother's Day sermon and realized the need for a day to celebrate fathers. She drew up a petition for the first Father's Day.
  • She gained only two signatures, but in the process convinced several local church communities to participate.
  • The celebration started Dodd's nearly life-long mission of promoting Father's Day for national status.
  • Dodd traveled the United States over the next half-century, campaigning for the cause.
  • Father's Day was finally recognized in 1972 when President Richard Nixon signed the resolution into law.*

A new appreciation of fatherhood

On the first Father's Day, families honored fathers by wearing red roses for those still alive, and white for those who were deceased. Father's Day sermons were held, and even the city's mayor and state governor issued Father's Day proclamations.
Today Father's Day is often celebrated with food, gatherings, and gifts. The nature of Father's Day has shifted as most fathers are no longer the sole breadwinners and have become more involved in family life.

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Labor Day celebrates the contribution of the American system of organized labor and workers to t...

Inventing Labor Day

Labor Day was first observed in 1882, but there is still disagreement who should take credit for its invention.

Some think it is Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor. Others believe it was Matthew Maguire, a machinist who later was elected secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson.

The First Labor Day

The first Labor Day was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in line with the plans of the Central Labor Union. 

The Central Labor Union then urged other unions and trade organizations to hold a similar workingmens' holiday on the same date. By 1885, industrial centers nationwide observed Labor Day.

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Voting in the 1700s

For decades, only white property holders would have the right to vote in the United States. Moreover, some states even made sure that only Christian men had this vote.

Voting in the 1800s

Even though during the Reconstruction period, after the Civil War, individuals were supposed to be allowed to vote no matter their race, in the following decades many Southern states, by means of poll taxes or literacy tests, would still limit the right to vote of the African American men.

1920 and women's voting right

In 1920 women won the right to vote with the ratification of the 19th amendment to the American Constitution.

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Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo doesn’t mark Mexican Independence, as many believe.

Instead, it’s meant to celebrate the Battle of Puebla, which was fought between the Mexican and French armies in 1862.

Beating back an empire

  • After Mexico won independence from Spain in 1821, other nations did not want to recognize its autonomy.
  • After a civil war in the late 1850s, Benito Juárez became Mexico's first indigenous president in 1861.
  • Juárez canceled repayments on foreign loans to protect Mexico's struggling economy.
  • It angered Britain, Spain, and France, and they jointly sent a force to Mexico but withdrew when it became evident that Napoleon III had plans to overthrow the new Mexican government.
  • On May 5, 1862, the Battle of Puebla took place. Although the Mexican Army was outnumbered two to one, they repelled attacks by the French army on the city of Puebla.
  • Four days later, on May 9, 1862, Juárez declared Cinco de Mayo a national holiday.
  • Even though the French eventually defeated the Mexican Army, the battle of Puebla proved that Mexico was a formidable opponent worthy of international respect.

An inadvertent impact

By defeating the French at the Battle of Puebla, Mexicans stopped the French army from moving northward toward the U.S. border, where they would likely have helped the Confederacy.

Mexico's victory likely changed the course of American history. The state of California viewed the victory as a defense of freedom.

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