Sonora Dodd of Spokane, Wash., conceived the idea of Father’s Day while she listened to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909.
June was chosen for the first Father’s Day celebration – proclaimed for June 19, 1910, by Spokane’s mayor – because it was the month of William Smart’s birth.
The first presidential proclamation honoring fathers was issued in 1966 when President Lyndon Johnson designated the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day.
Father’s Day has been celebrated annually since 1972 when President Richard Nixon signed the public law that made it permanent.
On Sunday, millions of families will be gathering on Father's Day to recognize their dads and the contributions they are making and have made.
Who are these dads, how many children do they have, and how many are single dads?
Here are facts and figures about fathers and Father’s Day from the U.S. Census Bureau:
How many fathers
Estimated number of fathers across the nation today.
Number of fathers who are part of married-couple families with their own children under the age of 18.
Among these –
- 21 percent are raising three or more of their own children under 18 years old.
- 11 percent are under 30.
- 5 percent are 55 and older.
- 2 percent live in the home of a relative or a nonrelative.
- 65 percent have an annual family income of $50,000 or more.
Number of single fathers, up from 393,000 in 1970. Currently, among single parents living with their children, 18 percent are men.
Among these fathers –
- 10 percent are raising three or more of their own children under 18 years old.
- 42 percent are divorced; 38 percent have never married; 15 percent are separated; and 5 percent are widowed.
- 15 percent live in the home of a relative or a nonrelative.
- 21 percent have an annual family income of $50,000 or more.
Estimated number of “stay-at-home” dads. These are married fathers with children under 15 years old who have remained out of the labor force for more than one year primarily so they can care for the family while their wives work outside the home.
Among these stay-at-home dads –
- 29 percent had their own children under 3 years old living with them.
- 63 percent had two or more children.
- 40 percent had an annual family income of $50,000 or more
Number of fathers who provide child support. All in all, 84 percent of child-support providers are men, who provide median payments of $3,600 annually.
Remembering all dads
Neckties lead the list of Father’s Day gifts. Number of men’s clothing stores: 10,416.
Other items high on the list of Father’s Day gifts include tools such as hammers, wrenches, and screwdrivers. Number of hardware stores in the nation: 14,755. Number of home centers: 5,280.
Dads also often like items such as fishing rods and golf clubs. Number of sporting goods stores: 23,018.
Nearly 69 million Americans participated in a barbecue in the last year. Many of these may have taken place on Father’s Day.
Nearly 95 million
Number of Father’s Day cards expected to be given this year in the United States, making Father’s Day the fourth-largest card-sending occasion.
Fifty percent of all Father’s Day cards are purchased for dads. Nearly 20 percent are purchased for husbands, with the remaining bought for grandfathers, sons, brothers, uncles, and “someone special,” among other categories.
So happy Father’s Day to you fantastic 66.3 million dads in America. I hope your day is great and that you’re able to have a wonderful celebration.
My next post will be on “What to Buy a Baby Boomer Dad for Father’s Day.”