How Did Father's Day Begin?
The idea of Father’s Day was conceived slightly more than a century ago by Sonora Dodd of Spokane, Wa., while she listened to a Mother’s Day sermon at church in 1909. Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart, a widowed Civil War veteran who was left to raise his six children on a farm. A day in June was chosen for the first Father’s Day celebration June 17, 1910, proclaimed by Spokane’s mayor because it was the month of Smart’s birth.
How Many Fathers?
70.1 million: Estimated number of fathers across the nation.
Source: Unpublished data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation
24.7 million: Number of fathers who were part of married-couple families with children younger than 18 in 2011. Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements
1.7 million: Number of single fathers in 2011; 15 percent of single parents were men. Ten percent were raising three or more children younger than 18. About 45 percent were divorced, 31 percent were never married, 19 percent were separated, and 5 percent were widowed. 38 percent had an annual family income of $50,000 or more. Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements
Thinking of You, Dad
7,708: The number of men’s clothing stores around the country (as of 2009), a good place to buy dad a tie or shirt. Source: County Business Patterns
15,734: The number of hardware stores (as of 2009), a place to buy hammers, wrenches, screwdrivers and other items high on the list of Father’s Day gifts. Additionally, there were 6,897 home centers across the country in 2009. Source: County Business Patterns
21,628: Number of sporting goods stores in 2009. These stores are good places to purchase traditional gifts for dad, such as fishing rods and golf clubs. Source: County Business Patterns
79.1 million: The number of Americans who participated in a barbecue in 2010. It’s probably safe to assume many of these barbecues took place on Father’s Day. Source: GFK Mediamark Research and Intelligence as cited in the Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2012, Table 1240.
Stay at Home Dads
176,000: Estimated number of stay-at-home dads in 2011. These married fathers with children younger than 15 have remained out of the labor force for at least one year primarily so they can care for the family while their wives work outside the home. These fathers cared for upwards of 332,000 children. Source: America’s Families and Living Arrangements