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Here's how Father's Day began

india Updated: Jun 19, 2010 16:27 IST

ANI
Highlight Story

As sons and daughters across the world celebrate Father's Day this Sunday few know dad's special day hits its centennial on June 20, 2010. Still, fewer know how it all began.

In 1909, a Mother's Day sermon at church inspired Spokane resident Sonora Smart-Dodd - one of six children being raised by a single dad - to honour her father.

She encouraged local churches to institute the first Father's Day observance the next year, and the idea has since caught on.

Father's Day became a national holiday in the US in 1972, when President Richard Nixon declared it to be the third Sunday of June.

According to psychology lecturer Nicole Gilbert Cote at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, President Bill Clinton in 1994 launched a gender neutral "Parent's Day" on the last Sunday in July.

"Ultimately, Parent's Day did not take off as people had probably hoped and expected," National Geographic quoted Cote, as saying.

She added: "And that makes perfect sense to me, because Mother's Day and Father's Day have such commercial appeal."

Businesses are making special preparations for the Father's Day centennial.

For instance, the Coeur d'Alene Brewing Company in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, has brewed a special Papa's Pale Ale for the occasion.

George Stromberg, the brewing company's president, told the Spokesman Review that the local visitors bureau assigned them the Father's Day task.

He said: "They thought there was a natural connection between dads and beer."

Although dads will likely receive more this year, they'll still be way behind moms, according to the National Retail Federation, a Washington, D.C.-based trade group.

For example, last year, Father's Day cost individual American consumers an average of 90.89dollars, while Mother's Day spending was 123.89dollars.

The retail group expects gift givers to shell out an average of 94.32dollars on Father's Day in 2010. For moms, shoppers spent an average of 126.90dollars.

Federation spokesperson Kathy Grannis said: "Dad is a little more laid-back and easier to shop for.

"His gifts usually range from a simple tie for work to a new spatula for the grill, all of which can make dad very happy."

While Mother's Day gifts are more luxurious such as jewels, flowers, a trip to the spa, or dinner at a restaurant, the most popular gift for Dad is a Father's Day card. (ANI)