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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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.

  • 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.*

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Labor Day is a public holiday observed in the United States on the first Monday in September.

Labor Day celebrates the contribution of the American system of organized labor and workers to the prosperity and economic strength of the nation.

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Women protests led to Women's Day

In New York, February 1908, thousands of women who were garment workers went on strike. They marched through the city to protest against their working conditions, which included less organized workplaces (than the men), lower echelons, lower wages, and sexual harassment.

The strikes lasted for more than a year. In honour of the anniversary of those strikes, a National Women's Day was celebrated on Feb 28, 1909, spearheaded by the Socialist Party of America and led by German socialist Clara Zetkin.

  • Thanksgiving fell on the last Thursday of November since 1863 until 1939, when President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved Thanksgiving to the fourth Thursday of November (starting with 1941), influenced by the request of a powerful coalition of retailers.
  • When Thanksgiving fell on November 30, it left only 24 holiday shopping days and this worried retailers who reasoned that busy holiday shoppers would simply shop less in a shorter season.
  • They promoted the idea that a longer holiday shopping season would be good for the American economy.

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