Dads around the world are celebrated on Father’s Day, which is always the third Sunday of June in the United States, the UK, the Netherlands and India.  In much of Europe and Latin America, Fathers are honored on St. Joseph’s Day, a Catholic holiday day in March.

Fun Father’s Day Facts:

  • Father’s Day was established in 1910 by a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd, who wanted to honor her own devoted father, William Jackson Smart, a twice-widowed Civil War Veteran who raised six of his fourteen children as a single dad
  • Ladies First: President Nixon signed Father’s Day into law in 1972, 58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official
  • The most popular Father’s Day gift is a necktie! Hmmm…. maybe it’s time for a change!
  • The oldest first-time father is Ramjit Raghau, who was 94 years old when he became a dad
  • Prior to the Industrial Revolution, most fathers played a major role in child-rearing responsibilities. With the advent of industrialization, as work shifted from home-based crafts to factory jobs, women began to assume most parental duties.

Father of the American Library System?

While the most primitive libraries date back to fourth century BC in Ancient Greece, the “Father” of the modern library in the United States is none other than … Benjamin Franklin!  Franklin developed a voracious appetite for books as a young child, as a means to self-educate after his father pulled him out of school at the age of ten. In 1731, Franklin established America’s first free lending library, known as the Library Company of Philadelphia.  Most historians consider this to be the predecessor of America’s public library system. 

To read more about this great dad, check out Benjamin Franklin and the Invention of America, by Walter Isaacson, available at Harper and Barbee libraries.

Father of the United States

George Washington, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, actually had no children of his own. Washington did, however, adopt his wife Martha’s two children from her first marriage. To learn more about this famous dad and our other Founding Fathers, check out these great books available at Harper and Barbee Libraries:

  • Founding Fathers; The Fight for Freedom and the Birth of American Liberty by K.M. Kostyal
  • Virtue, Valor and Vanity: The Founding Fathers and the Pursuit of Fame, by Eric Burns

More Great Reads for Father’s Day, available at Barbee and Harper Libraries:

Jim Gaffigan, Dad is Fat!

Fathers: A Collection of Poems, edited by David and Judy Ray

First Dads: Parenting and Politics from George Washington to Barack Obama by Joshua Kendall

The Council of Dads by Bruce Feiler

Great Father’s Day DVDs to Watch, Available at Harper and Barbee Libraries:

Fences, by August Wilson

The Pursuit of Happiness, by Stephen Conrad

The Open Road, by Michael Meredith


Image above: courtesy starline