Father’s Day always occurs on the third Sunday in June. This year, that day is June 21. While the rest of the country basks in the warmth of summer, here in Alaska, things are slow to catch up. That isn’t going to stop Bagoy’s Florist from doing everything possible to help our customers celebrate Father’s Day in true Alaska style.
How Father’s Day Became an Official National Holiday
Most historians agree that Spokane, Washington is the birthplace of Father’s Day. They also agree that the entire concept of a national holiday to honor fathers was the brainchild of Sonora Smith Dodds. Mrs. Dodds grew up in rural eastern Washington on a farm. She was the oldest of six children, five of whom were boys. The youngest boy was born in 1898, and Dodd’s mother died after childbirth. That meant that her father had to raise the five children on his own, while running a farm and taking care of the animals and crops they raised.
The idea came to Mrs. Dodds as she sat in church at Central United Methodist Church in Spokane, Washington, listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1908. As a married woman who was raising her own children, she finally understood the challenges her father faced while raising six children all alone. She was determined to see to it that fathers were recognized for everything they did for their families.
At first, she wanted to hold a celebration on June 5, to coincide with her father’s birthday. The team of people who agreed to help her realize her vision convinced her that it would be too hard to plan an appropriate celebration that fast, so the first Father’s Day observance was scheduled for June 19, 1908. It was held at the Spokane YMCA.
Across the country at Williams Memorial Methodist Church in Fairmount, West Virginia, a celebration honoring all fathers was held on July 5, 1908. Grace Golden Clayton asked the pastor of that West Virginia church to honor fathers during a service and to honor the 361 men who had died in a mine explosion in a nearby town a few months earlier.
The official date for observing Father’s Day was solidified in 1966 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed an official order making Father’s Day an official national observance that would be celebrated every year on the third Sunday of June. In 1972, President Richard M. Nixon signed the Congressional Act that made Father’s Day an official national holiday.
Give your dad a special Alaskan treat in the form of Bliss Toffee. Any dad or sweet lover is sure to love a treat that gives them a taste of the sweeter side of Alaska.