Father's Day

Father's Day

While recognizing a special day of celebration for fathers dates back to the middle ages, the first U.S. father day has a sad backstory.

On Friday, December 6, 1907, at 10:28 AM, what has been described as the worst mining disaster in American history occurred in Monongah West Virginia. There were officially 367 men, 250 of them fathers, working in Mines 6 and 8, although the actual number was probably much higher, and most of them were killed instantly.

On July 5th of the following year the first official Father day celebration was held in the Williams Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church in Grafton West Virginia. Grace Golden Clayton, who was mourning the loss of her father in the mining disaster that left 1,000 fatherless children, suggested to her pastor Robert thomas Webb that he honor those fathers, and all fathers, in his sermon. Unfortunately, the sermon was not reproduced by the press and was lost.

In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued a presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Nixon signed it into law in 1972.

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