Fathers Day was originated in 1910, by a woman (Mrs. John B Dodd) to commemorate her own single dad, whose wife died in childbirth. While long ridiculed as just another “Hallmark holiday” by some, it was not made an official day of celebration until 1972. Fathers Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June in 52 countries.
In 1910, single dads were not the norm, and single parents were invariably pictured as single moms. Today, the number of single parent households led by dads has increased certainly not imagined in 1910.
In one of the huge, but largely hidden, demographic shifts of the 20th century, the number of single men heading households has grown to 2.2 million across the country, according to a 2009 report from the U.S. Census Bureau (Custodial Mothers and Fathers and Their Child Support: 2007). While moms still are the overwhelming majority of the 13.7 million single parents in the United States, men heading single parent households account for 16% of single parents.
So, on Father’s Day, here’s a shout-out to single dads everywhere, for their unsung heroics every day. I salute you and thank you for the pancakes and bacon my kids will hopefully serve me in bed tomorrow. But it’s your fault if they spill orange juice all over the floor.