Today is father’s day…. Happy Father’s Day!


On this very day, I want to publish a blog piece about paternalism and the historical roots of father’s day.


Every special day has its own history and so does the father’s day.

On July 5, 1908, a church located in the US sponsored the nation’s first event explicitly in honor of fathers, a Sunday sermon in memory of the 362 men who had died in the previous December’s explosions at the Fairmont Coal Company mines in Monongah ;but it was a one-time commemoration and not an annual holiday first.


The next year, a woman named Smart Dodd, one of six children raised by a widower, tried to establish an official equivalent to Mother’s Day for male parents. She went to shopkeepers,churches and government officials to gain support for her idea, and finally she was successful. The nation’s first statewide Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910.



In 1966, President Johnson designated that the third Sunday in June should be Father’s Day. Six years later, Father’s Day was made a permanent national holiday in the US when, in 1972, President Richard Nixon signed it into law.

Let me share some about paternalism as well. “Paternalism is the interference of a state or an individual with another person, against their will, and defended or motivated by a claim that the person interfered with will be better off or protected from harm.” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy). Paternalism is derived from the Latin term pater which means “father”


Paternalism has historical connection with patriarchic theories of political power. In the 17th century, Robert Filmer defended the divine right of kings to rule by invoking the “right of fatherhood” which, he claimed, had passed down from Adam to the kings and princes of his own time. This theory was famously criticized by John Locke by invoking individuals’ natural right to life, liberty and property, independently of any government.

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