Sunday, June 20, 2010

This One's For Dad

Magnet # 273: Retro Big Island, Hawaii

Material: Rubber

Purchased By: Dad

Well, once again it's Father's Day. I'm wishing the best to all the good Dads out there and I hope all of their grateful offspring are prepared to celebrate their Man of the House on his special day. I may not be able to be with my Dad on this year's occasion, but that doesn't mean I'm not thinking about him or how fortunate I am to have him looking out for me.

Father's Day originated in the early twentieth century as an obvious complement to Mother's Day. Sonora Smart Dodd is credited with thinking up the celebration and said the idea first came to her when she was listening to a 1909 Mother's Day church sermon in Spokane, Washington. The observance was a new creation and Dodd, who had been raised by her father, William Jackson Smart, after his wife died giving birth to their sixth child, thought there should be a celebration for fathers as well. Dodd was 16 then and she was able to recognize the sacrifices her father had made for his family. So she thought that a day set aside to honor his efforts and those of men like him was a logical counterpart to Mother's Day and she took her idea to her pastor and the Spokane YMCA. She wanted her father's birthday, June 5, to be the first Father's Day, but more time was needed to prepare for the event, so it ended up being held on June 19, 1910. Participants wore a red rose in recognition of a living father and a white one if theirs had passed away, and Dodd delivered gifts to fathers of the city who were shut-ins. But it took much longer for this celebration to gain widespread recognition than its forerunner. So why was there such difficulty in getting Father's Day going? Well, people just didn't take to the concept as readily as they took to Mother's Day, seeing it as a joke and making fun of it. Some thought that it was just another step in filling the calendar with useless holidays. By 1913, Congress had been presented with a bill to make the holiday official and President Woodrow Wilson even spoke at a 1916 Father's Day celebration in Spokane, hoping to legitimize the observance, but Congress continued to refuse to recognize it. Later, Calvin Coolidge, whose father had administered the Oath of Office to him, suggested that the day be observed throughout the nation, but did not issue a national proclamation to support it. By 1957. Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith was accusing Congress of hypocrisy by honoring one parent and ignoring the other. The first presidential proclamation setting Father's Day as the third Sunday in June finally came from Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966. It was Richard Nixon who made this a permanent holiday by singing it into law into 1972. Finally, fathers around the country had been given the recognition they had earned - just 58 years after Mother's Day had won official recognition.

What can I say about my Dad? Well, he has got to be one of the best ones out there and I owe a large amount of my magnets to his travel habits and generosity. Thanks in part to his job, he has journeyed all around the world, and has been to every continent expect Australia and Antarctica - and I know he plans on going to the Land Down Under sometime. He has been to some pretty remote places - Nigeria, South Africa, Uzbekistan, and Uruguay and he has always done his best to make certain he gets at least one magnet for me. If I make a list, he'll go further, pretty much acquiring anything on it. On several occasions, he's even gotten his colleagues to obtain some on my behalf. Yep, he spoils me. I can't even count all of the ones he's gotten for me during his frequent trips to Hawaii, but I decided to post this one because it features bygone days that he would have been around for, plus it's just a stunning magnet. Dad knows what I like, and has picked some of the best in my collection. And he has been pretty generous. I once mentioned all of the Arizona magnets I've got to my folks and Mom replied that it was Dad's doing, that he just wouldn't stop buying them for me, which is just fine with me. But I must admit, since I've started this blog, Mom has buying more magnets for my collection and I'm grateful. But I think part of the reason I'm doing this blog is that I want to be more like my Dad. He's just about the smartest person I've ever met and whenever my family plays Trivial Pursuit, everyone wants him on their team. I'll bring up all sorts of matters regarding history, government, travel, and so on and he pretty much always has something to add just going from his memory banks. The man knows a ton. By researching and typing up these posts, I have greatly increased my own knowledge, getting a little closer to my Dad's level. I may never be there, but at least I'm doing my best. So thanks for being there for me, Dad, doing your best to make me happy, and inspiring me to try to do the best I can. I know you're one of the best, and I'm lucky to have you.

This year, the Father's Day Centennial Celebration is being held in Spokane to celebrate how the city has now honored its fathers for 100 years. I guess the rest of the country will be able to mark that date in another 62 years. To celebrate this occasion, the city is offering tours of Dodd's former residence, a father-daughter dance, a "Sketches of Dad" exhibit and other activities as part of week-long series of events. It's nice that they realized the value of this occasion and at least the all of the country has now caught up with them and dads are being properly recognized all over the United States. So if you're fortunate enough to have one of the great Dads out there and he's still with you, be sure to give him a call today, take him out to dinner, or take part in whatever would make him happy - just give him control of the remote, for example - an let him know just how much you appreciate him.


  1. I have to agree your Dad is great at Trivial Pursuit. Researching for your blog might just make you in demand when chosing teams for the next game of Trivial Pursuit.

  2. Hopefully it'll work out. But I think I'll still have trouble with the sports trivia!