But, aside from giving an ugly tie as a gift and allowing your dad more peace and quiet on a Sunday than usual, it’s also a good time to reflect on the meaning of fatherhood.
In fact, when I ponder our paternal roles, I realize that chiropractors are a lot like fathers. We protect, teach important life lessons, try our best to guide with our wisdom, are always willing to lend a sympathetic ear, and only want what's best for our patients, just like any good dad wants for his children.
So in honor of all of you amazing dads AND chiropractors out there, here are some fun and interesting Father’s Day Facts:
1. Where did Father’s Day come from?
There are two accepted versions of how Father’s Day came about, although both in 1908. On July 5 of that year, a church in West Virginia hosted the country’s first event in honor of fathers, a sermon in memory of 362 men who died the previous year in a mining accident nearby.
Also in 1908 but all the way across the country in Spokane, Washington, a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd was campaigning for an annual day to recognize Fathers, similar to Mother’s Day. Dodd wanted to raise the day as a way to commemorate her father, William Smart, a Civil War veteran and widower who raised six children by himself.
2. Thanks to Sonora’s campaign, Washington State celebrated the nation’s first statewide Father’s Day on July 19, 1910. In 1916, President Wilson honored the state’s unofficial holiday in Spokane by sending a telegraph from the White House ordering a flag to be unfurled there.
3. But it was President Calvin Coolidge who urged all states to adopt Father’s Day in 1924. However, it wasn’t a very popular idea, as many men thought it was a trivial and frilly holiday. According to one historian, men largely “scoffed at the holiday’s sentimental attempts to domesticate manliness with flowers and gift-giving, or they derided the proliferation of such holidays as a commercial gimmick to sell more products–often paid for by the father himself.”
4. Throughout the 1920’s, it remained a polarizing issue, with equal support for designating a national Father’s Day or combining it with Mother’s Day, forming a new Parent’s Day. Pro-parents groups actually met in New York City and rallied in Central Park for this issue.
5. But that all crystallized during the Great Depression when retailers revived and promoted the holiday as a way to boost struggling sales. Stores across the country called it a “second Christmas for men,” and promoted gifts of neckties, hats, socks, pipes, tobacco, golf clubs, and sporting goods.
6. The results were hit or miss, but it wasn’t until World War II that Father's Day caught on, when advertisers promoted the holiday as a way to honor American Troops at war, endearing the public.
7. In fact, it wasn’t until 1966 that Father’s Day earned official recognition when President Lyndon B. Johnson designated an executive order to make the third Sunday in June the official day to celebrate fathers.
8. Six years later in 1972, and 58 years after Mother’s Day became official, President Nixon decreed Father’s Day a national holiday.
9. These days, Americans spend a whopping $12.7 billion each year on Father’s Day gifts, cards, and celebrations! That still pales in comparison to the $18.6 billion, spent each year on Mother’s Day.
10. According to the latest census report, there are 70.1 million fathers in the United States.
11. 1.7 million of them - about 16 percent -are single fathers raising children. 176,000 are married but stay-at-home dads, taking care of an estimated 287,000 children under the age of 15.
12. 38% of working dads polled say that they would gladly take a pay cut to be able to spend more time with their kids.
13. The rose is the official flower of Father’s Day. If your father is deceased, you should honor him with a white rose, but a red rose is appropriate if he is still living.
14. The greeting card company Hallmark reports that Father’s Day is their 4th largest holiday for sending cards, with 110 million exchanged for the holiday. 50% of all Father’s Day cards purchased every year are for dads, but the other half go to grandfathers, husbands, sons, brothers, and uncles. This year, they’re releasing 800 types of cards for fathers!
15. How much do we spend on our dads on this June holiday? A National Retail Federation survey found that on average, $117.14 is spent per person on Father’s Day – still less than the $152 for Mother’s Day.
16. That comes out to an average of $43 from each of us for our fathers. In fact, 57% will spend $50 or less on their dad's big day.
17. It’s sometimes hard to pick out gifts for our dads for Father’s Day, so we usually end up just getting a tie. But when asked, fathers said they wanted to receive gift cards (31.2%), dinner (24.7%), and electronics (29%) this year for presents.
18. When asked which gifts they’d rather receive,
• 84% wanted an iPad over only 16% that wanted a round of golf at Pebble Beach.
• 87% wanted dinner for the family versus only 13% that wanted a new Man Cave.
• And 82% of all fathers polled preferred a big screen TV instead of only 18% who wanted floor seats to the NBA finals.
19. More than 50% of Father’s Day shoppers will buy gifts online, while only 9% will shop at mom and pop stores.
20. About 75% of fathers surveyed said they were more involved with their kids than their fathers had been. Data shows that fathers are spending 86% more time with their children than their fathers did.
21. 52% of fathers are the primary grocery shoppers for their families. That may not sound like much, but it’s up from only 10% in 1995!
22. But fathers still have some work to do around the house, according to Insure.com. In their Father’s Day Index, they found that if mothers were paid a salary for their work around the house, it would be around $61,000. However, the same Index shows father’s contributions to be a little over $20,000!
23. 81% of adults polled think Mother’s Day and Father’s Day should be celebrated equally.
24. Fathers still love nice gifts for Father’s Day (especially electronics,) but 24.7% of them said they’d like to get a homemade gift from their children this year, and 25% said they’d like to be taken out to dinner.
25. The Federal Trade Commission compiled a list of the mots common things fathers say to their children. The top-5 included:
• “You’re going out looking like that?”
• “As long as you’re in my house, you’ll live by my rules.”
• “There’s nothing a little duct tape can’t fix.”
• “I had to walk to school in the snow. Barefoot. Uphill. Both ways.”
• “This will go on your permanent record!”