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Celebrating dear old dad

By: Bill Sullivan, Associate Publisher
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As the middle of June arrives, the temperature rises and spring transforms into summer. At the same time, the one holiday that rolls around is a tribute to none other than dear old dad. The communities of Placer County  have many offerings in the way of celebrating Father’s Day.

It doesn’t matter if you take dad to a local car show, take him out to breakfast, dinner or outside to enjoy one of our great trails or parks; our area offers a menagerie of options to celebrate the day. There is even a local car race the night before dad’s big day right here in Placer County.

If it’s a gift you’re looking to buy, we also have plenty of retailers that offer everything from fine jewelry, tools, bikes, sporting goods and more. With all of our area’s unique shops, there is little doubt you could even find an iconic “soap on a rope” if you looked at a few places. Look in the pages and inserts of this newspaper and you will certainly find a lion’s share of great deals that are sure to make your dad roar.

There are two different stories of how this summer holiday came about. According to some historical documents and various articles out there, the first Father’s Day was celebrated in Washington state on June 19, 1910. A woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd came up with the idea of honoring and celebrating her father while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon at church in 1909. She felt as though mothers were getting all the acclaim while fathers were equally deserving of a day of praise.

Dodd’s dad, William Smart, a veteran of the Civil War, was left a widower when his wife died while giving birth to their sixth child. He went on to raise the six children by himself on their small farm in Washington. To show her appreciation for all the hard work and love William gave to her and her siblings, Sonora thought there should be a day to pay homage to him and other dads like him. She initially suggested June 5, the anniversary of her father’s death to be the designated day to celebrate Father’s Day, but due to some bad planning, the celebration in Spokane, Washington was deferred to the third Sunday in June.

The other story of the first Father’s Day in America happened all the way on the other side of the country in Fairmont, West Virginia on July 5, 1908. Grace Golden Clayton suggested to the minister of the local Methodist church that they hold services to celebrate fathers after a deadly mine explosion killed 361 men.

In 1924, President Calvin “Silent Cal” Coolidge recommended that Father’s Day become a national holiday. But no official action was taken. In 1966, Lyndon B. Johnson, through an executive order, designated the third Sunday in June as the official day to celebrate Father’s Day. However, it wasn’t until 1972, during the Nixon administration, that Father’s Day was officially recognized as a national holiday.

This Sunday, it doesn’t matter how you celebrate “dad” or when we truly began doing so. Whether it’s that new tool or fancy razor or cologne, it’s all for the same reason: to honor the man who made life possible for you or maybe it’s a stepdad who made life great for you. If you have lost your father, Sunday is a great day to remember him in any fashion you so desire. It’s the thought that counts.

Bill Sullivan is the Associate Publisher at Gold Country Media. He can be reached at bills@goldcountrymedia.com.