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Father's Day in United States

Quick Facts

Father's Day celebrates the contribution that fathers and father figures make to the lives of their children.

Local names

NameLanguage
Father's DayEnglish
Día del PadreSpanish
See list of observations below
Father's Day in the United States is on the third Sunday of June. It celebrates the contribution that fathers and father figures make for their children's lives. Its origins may lie in a memorial service held for a large group of men, many of them fathers, who were killed in a mining accident in Monongah, West Virginia in 1907.
Father´s day
Father's Day is a day for fathers and father-like figures. ©iStockphoto.com/jkullander

What do people do?

Father's Day is an occasion to mark and celebrate the contribution that your own father has made to your life. Many people send or give cards or gifts to their fathers. Common Father's Day gifts include sports items or clothing, electronic gadgets, outdoor cooking supplies and tools for household maintenance.

Father's Day is a relatively modern holiday so different families have a range of traditions. These can range from a simple phone call or greetings card to large parties honoring all of the 'father' figures in a particular extended family. Father figures can include fathers, step-fathers, father-in-laws, grandfathers and great-grandfathers and even other male relatives. In the days and weeks before Father's Day, many schools and Sunday schools help their pupils to prepare a handmade card or small gift for their fathers.

Public life

Father's Day is not a federal holiday. Organizations, businesses and stores are open or closed, just as they are on any other Sunday in the year. Public transit systems run to their normal Sunday schedules. Restaurants may be busier than usual, as some people take their fathers out for a treat.

Background and symbols

There are a range of events, which may have inspired the idea of Father's Day. One of these was the start of the Mother's Day tradition in the first decade of the 20th century. Another was a memorial service held in 1908 for a large group of men, many of them fathers, who were killed in a mining accident in Monongah, West Virginia in December 1907.

A woman called Sonora Smart Dodd was an influential figure in the establishment of Father's Day. Her father raised six children by himself after the death of their mother. This was uncommon at that time, as many widowers placed their children in the care of others or quickly married again.

Sonora was inspired by the work of Anna Jarvis, who had pushed for Mother's Day celebrations. Sonora felt that her father deserved recognition for what he had done. The first time Father's Day was held in June was in 1910. Father's Day was officially recognized as a holiday in 1972 by President Nixon.

About Father's Day in other countries

Read more about Father's Day.

Father's Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
SunJun 151980Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 211981Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 201982Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 191983Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 171984Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 161985Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 151986Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 211987Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 191988Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 181989Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 171990Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 161991Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 211992Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 201993Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 191994Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 181995Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 161996Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 151997Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 211998Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 201999Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 182000Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 172001Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 162002Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 152003Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 202004Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 192005Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 182006Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 172007Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 152008Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 212009Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 202010Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 192011Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 172012Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 162013Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 152014Father's DayObservance 
SunJun 212015Father's DayObservance 

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