1) Father’s Day was invented by American Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd who wanted to honour her father, a veteran who had, as a single parent, raised his six children. The first Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910.
2) Unlike Mother’s Day, Father’s Day was originally met with laughter. It was the target of much satire, parody and derision with a local newspaper complaining that it would lead to mindless promotions such as ‘National Clean Your Desk Day’.
3) The first American president to support the concept of Father’s day was President Calvin Coolidge, who did so in 1924… but it wasn’t until in the year 1966 that President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation that resulted in the declaration of the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day.
4) According to greetings card makers Hallmark, Father’s Day is the fifth-largest card-sending holiday.
5) In Germany, Father’s Day is celebrated differently from other parts of the world. Männertag (Men’s day) is celebrated by getting drunk with wagons of beer and indulging in regional food. Police and emergency services are in high alert during the day.
6) Going for a floral gift? Traditionally fathers should be given the gift of white or red roses. The rose is the official flower for Father’s Day. Wearing a red rose signifies a living father, while a white one represents deceased father.
7) Surprisingly, the trusty slipper gift isn’t the most popular Father’s Day present – it’s actually a tie.
8) The world record for having the most number of children officially recorded is 69 by the first wife of Feodor Vassilyev (1707-1782), a peasant from Moscow. His first wife gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets and four sets of quadruplets. Dinnertimes must have been hectic!
9) Although there is no evidence of its origin, it is believed that the word “Dad” dates back to as early as the sixteenth century. It is said to come from the first syllables uttered by babies ‘pa’ plus the kinship suffix ‘ter’ – accounting for the latin ‘Pater’, the Spanish ‘Padre’ and the French ‘Pere’. Takes ‘baby talk’ to a new meaning.
10) In Thailand, Father’s Day is set as the birthday of the King. December 5 is the birthday of current king, Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX). Thais celebrate by giving their father or grandfather a Canna flower (Dok put ta ruk sa) which is considered to be a masculine flower.