Father’s Day once was highly political — and could become so again

Father’s Day once was highly political — and could become so again

In many ways, Father’s Day has always been a second-class holiday in the United States.

Sonora Smart Dodd, whose father raised her and her siblings after their mother died in childbirth

was inspired to propose the holiday in 1910 after attending a church service honoring mothers

 Even so, while federal law enshrined the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day in 1914

it took another half-century for fathers to receive similar recognition

first with Lyndon B. Johnson issuing a presidential proclamation in 1966 and then with Congress enacting an official holiday in 1972.

For decades, there was less political will to honor fathers, especially because many men regarded the holiday as “silly.”

Such thinking continues to this day, as some men celebrate being fathers by using the holiday as a ticket to spend a day at the golf course

enjoying hours on “their” day away from their children.

This understanding of Father’s Day, though, misses the ways in which Americans have used the holiday as a political vehicle

In the latter decades of the 20th century

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