Father's Day really, really trailed in the wake of Mother's Day.
Attempts to establish a day to honor fathers can be traced back to at least 1908, and had support from churches, civic groups and even President Woodrow Wilson. But by and large there seemed to be little real interest from the general public.
As historian Bret Carroll, Ph.D., writes, "Many men scoffed at the holiday's sentimental attempts to domesticate manliness with flowers and gift-giving, or derided the proliferation of such a holiday as a commercial gimmick to sell more products."
He has a point. The biggest push to keep Father's Day in the public eye seems to have been from retailers. During the Great Depression, businesses quickly recognized that a gift-giving holiday midway through the year was a good opportunity to keep themselves afloat until Christmas. By 1935, advertising efforts in the tobacco, tie and shirt industries were coordinated as "Give Dad Something to Wear," by the Father's Day Council. The advent of World War II, with fathers leaving to defend family, home and country, increased the popularity of the nascent holiday.
It wasn't until 1972, however, that Congress officially authorized Father's Day as a permanent day of observance. Today it is the 5th most popular occasion for sending greeting cards and gifts that represent both the work and play in which dads engage.
Father's Day does seem inherently different than Mother's Day somehow. On Mother's Day we tend to honor mom with flowers, gifts and brunch. But Father's Day? Maybe it's its placement at the beginning of the summer season, but who doesn't have a Father's Day memory rife with baseball, bbq, fishing or going to the beach? It just feels like a perfect day to be outside.
And if you aren't able to spend this Father's Day outside with your dad, you can still give him the next best thing. Help him enjoy the outdoors all year long, even when you can't be there, with a subscription to Texas Parks & Wildlife magazine.
If your dad prefers the feel of paper, give him one year of our print issues for $10. For dads that like the latest in tech, give him a year of our mobile app for $10. Or hey, it's your DAD! Give him both for $15!
Whether the dads in your life like tales of hunting, fishing, travel, birding, camping, hiking, or just love photos that soothe the soul, don't worry — we have you covered this Father's Day.