Stronger Families. Stronger Communities. Stronger Washington

We hear about the “true meaning of Christmas” every December. Why don’t we hear about the “true meaning of Father’s Day” every June?

The first official statewide Father’s Day was celebrated in the state of Washington on June 19, 1910. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson honored the day by using a telegraph to communicate that flags in Spokane (the birthplace of Father’s Day) should be unfurled. Although the holiday grew in participation, Father’s Day did not become a national holiday until 1972. President Richard Nixon’s 1972 proclamation making Father’s Day a national holiday reads, in part:

“In fatherhood, we know the elemental magic and joy of humanity. In fatherhood we even sense the divine, as the Scriptural writers did who told of all good gifts coming ‘down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning’ — symbolism so challenging to each man who would give his own son or daughter a life of light without shadow … Let each American make this Father’s Day an occasion for renewal of the love and gratitude we bear to our fathers, increasing and enduring through all the years.”

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