The idea of Father’s Day was conceived by Sonora Dodd of Spokane, Wash., while she listened to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909. Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart, a widowed Civil War veteran who was left to raise his six children on a farm. A day in June was chosen for the first Father’s Day celebration — June 19, 1910, proclaimed by Spokane’s mayor because it was the month of Smart’s birth. The first presidential proclamation honoring fathers was issued in 1966 when President Lyndon Johnson designated the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Father’s Day has been celebrated annually since 1972 when President Richard Nixon signed the public law that made it permanent.
Estimated number of fathers across the nation. (From unpublished data.)
A good place to buy dad a tie or a shirt might be one of 8,685 men’s clothing stores around the country (as of 2005).
Other items high on the list of Father’s Day gifts are tools such as hammers, wrenches and screwdrivers. You could buy some of these items for dad at one of the nation’s 14,257 hardware stores or 5,925 home centers (as of 2005).
Number of sporting goods stores in 2005. These stores are good places to purchase traditional gifts for dad, such as fishing rods and golf clubs.
More than 74 million Americans participated in a barbecue in the last year — it’s probably safe to assume many of these barbecues took place on Father’s Day.
<http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2007/>, 2007 edition, Table 1225.
Estimated number of stay-at-home dads in 2006. These married fathers with children younger than 15 have remained out of the labor force for more than one year primarily so they can care for the family while their wives work outside the home. These fathers cared for 283,000 children. Among these stay-at-home dads:
Number of fathers who are part of married-couple families with children younger than 18 in 2006.
Among these —
Number of single fathers in 2006, up from 400,000 in 1970. Currently, among single parents living with their children, 19 percent are men.
Among these fathers —
Percentage of custodial parents due child support who were fathers. They numbered 740,000.
Amount of child support received by custodial fathers in 2003; they were due $3.3 billion. In contrast, custodial mothers received $23.3 billion of the $33.7 billion in support that was due.
Percentage of custodial fathers who received all child support that was due, not significantly different than the corresponding percentage for custodial mothers. Fathers received an average of $2,797 in child support in 2003, compared with $3,579 for mothers.
Percentage of children younger than 6 living with married parents in 2003 who ate breakfast with their father every day. The corresponding number for children living with unmarried fathers was 41 percent.
Percentage of children younger than 6 living with married parents who ate dinner with their fathers every day. The corresponding number for children living with unmarried fathers was 66 percent.
Percentage of children younger than 6 living with married parents who were praised three or more times a day by their fathers. The corresponding number for children living with unmarried fathers was 57 percent.
Following is a list of observances typically covered by the Census Bureau Facts for Features series:
Editor’s note: The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: (301) 763-3030; fax: (301) 457-3670; or e-mail: <PIO@census.gov>.