Happy Dad’s Day …a history by the Art of Manliness

Father’s Day is coming up, so in honor of dear old dad, the Art of Manliness  is presenting a series of father-themed posts. Today we look into the history of Father’s Day. Sadly, retailers and marketers, in an effort to make a quick buck, have bastardized the original meaning of Father’s Day. A holiday that was supposed to honor dad and enumerate his special qualities, now is used to sell chili pepper ties and shop vacs. Hopefully by understanding why the concept of Father’s Day was created, we can better celebrate and honor the fathers who raised us into men.

The History of Father’s Day in the United States

There are two stories of when the first Father’s Day was celebrated. According to some accounts, the first Father’s Day was celebrated in Washington State on June 19, 1910. A woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd came up with the idea of honoring and celebrating her father while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon at church in 1909. She felt as though mothers were getting all the acclaim while fathers were equally deserving of a day of praise (She would probably be displeased that Mother’s Day still gets the lion’s share of attention).

Sonora’s dad was quite a man. William Smart, a veteran of the Civil War, was left a widower when his wife died while giving birth to their sixth child. He went on to raise the six children by himself on their small farm in Washington. To show her appreciation for all the hard work and love William gave to her and her siblings, Sonora thought there should be a day to pay homage to him and other dads like him. She initially suggested June 5th, the anniversary of her father’s death to be the designated day to celebrate Father’s Day, but due to some bad planning, the celebration in Spokane, Washington was deferred to the third Sunday in June.

The other story of the first Father’s Day in America happened all the way on the other side of the country in Fairmont, West Virginia on July 5, 1908. Grace Golden Clayton suggested to the minister of the local Methodist church that they hold services to celebrate fathers after a deadly mine explosion killed 361 men.

While Father’s Day was celebrated locally in several communities across the country, unofficial support to make the celebration a national holiday began almost immediately. William Jennings Bryant was one of its staunchest proponents. In 1924, President Calvin “Silent Cal” Coolidge recommended that Father’s Day become a national holiday. But no official action was taken.

In 1966, Lyndon B. Johnson, through an executive order, designated the third Sunday in June as the official day to celebrate Father’s Day. However, it wasn’t until 1972, during the Nixon administration, that Father’s Day was officially recognized as a national holiday.

Father’s Day Around The World

Other countries also picked up on the idea of Father’s Day. While many followed suit by celebrating it on the third Sunday in June, some decided to honor dad on different dates. So, to make sure you know when to pay your respects to dear old dad wherever you may be, here’s a list of the dates Father’s Day is celebrated across the world.

  • March 14– Iran
  • March 19– Bolivia, Honduras, Italy, Lichtenstein, Portugal, Spain
  • May 8– South Korea
  • First Sunday in June– Lithuania
  • Second Sunday in June– Austria, Ecuador, Belgium
  • Third Sunday in June– Antigua, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Guyana, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Japan, Malaysia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Netherlands, Pakistan, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Puerto Rico, Saint Vincent, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Trinidad, Turkey, United Kingdom, Venezuela, Zimbabwe
  • June 17– El Salvador, Guatemala
  • June 23– Nicaragua, Poland, Uganda
  • Second Sunday in July– Uruguay
  • Last Sunday in July– Dominican Republic
  • Second Sunday in August– Brazil
  • August 8– Taiwan, China
  • August 24– Argentina
  • First Sunday in September– Australia, New Zealand
  • New Moon of September– Nepal
  • First Sunday in October– Luxembourg
  • Second Sunday in November– Estonia, Finland, Norway, Sweden
  • December 5– Thailand

This Father’s Day, don’t just buy your Pops a crappy “World’s Best Dad” mug. Write him a card expressing some of the things you love and admire about him. Nothing mushy. Just tell him that you’re glad to be his son.

harassed, jailed, beaten for the right to vote … john lewis

Protect the right to vote! Sign your name >>

I was harassed.

I was jailed.

I was beaten bloody.

All because I stood up for my right to vote…and the rights of millions of other African Americans across the country.

That was over 50 years ago.

Friends, we cannot go back to a time when our voices were silenced

the right to vote is still under attack today.

The Supreme Court dismantled the Voting Rights Act. State legislatures across the country are passing restrictive laws that keep African Americans from the polls. And Republicans in Congress have voted to eliminate the Election Commission.

We all need to stand up and say this is wrong. And we can’t back down until the right to vote is protected in every corner of our country.

So, will you join me? Please sign your name today and protect the right to vote:


Thank you for standing up and speaking out,

John Lewis



The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act: Making Room for Pregnancy on the Job

Almost 40 years after passage of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, pregnant women still face challenges on the job. This is especially so in jobs that require physical activity like running, lifting, moving, standing, or repetitive motion—activities that may pose difficulty to some women during some stages of pregnancy. Many of these women could continue to work without risk to themselves or their pregnancies with temporary job modifications. But in the absence of such a modification, a pregnant worker may face a choice no one should have to make—between the health of her pregnancy and her job.  For example:

  • Heather Wiseman was a Wal-Mart sales floor associate. When she became pregnant, she began to suffer from urinary and bladder infections and started carrying a water bottle at work on her doctor’s advice to ensure she stayed hydrated. Because of a rule that only cashiers could have water bottles at work, she was terminated.
  • Whitney LaCount, a Certified Nursing Assistant at an assisted living unit, was placed on a 25-pound lifting restriction by her doctor when she became pregnant. Despite the fact that she could perform all of her duties except lift one particular resident once a day and despite the fact that at least five other employees were available to assist her with this task, she was immediately placed on unpaid leave and fired when her leave expired after 12 weeks.
  • Tashara Persky, a store clerk at Dollar General, was placed on a 15-pound lifting restriction when she became pregnant. She was forced onto leave and then fired because her employer claimed she could no longer perform essential functions of her job, though she rarely had to lift more than 15 pounds in the course of her work.
  • Kimberly Agee was a line worker at a car factory. When she became pregnant, her doctor instructed her not to work more than 40 hours per week. Her employer claimed working a flexible schedule of more than 40 hours a week was an essential job function, placed her on unpaid leave and then fired her when she refused to complete medical leave paperwork.
  • Amber Walker was the only female truck driver for a beer distributor. When she became pregnant and asked if someone could assist her with heavy lifting during the later months of her pregnancy, or if she could be assigned to a different position during those months, her employer refused, though it had previously provided assistance to truck drivers with injuries and also had a policy of letting truck drivers who lost their licenses for drunk driving apply for new positions in sales. She was forced onto unpaid leave, which she exhausted six days after her baby was born. When she failed to return to work one week after giving birth, she was terminated.

In all of these examples, women challenged their termination in court and lost.  Their cases are not unique.

Pregnant Women’s Work Is Crucial to Families’ Economic Security

Today, women make up about half the workforce.  More women are continuing to work while they are pregnant, through later stages of pregnancy. For example, two-thirds of women who had their first child between 2006 and 2008 worked during pregnancy, and 88 percent of these first-time mothers worked into their last trimester.

The great majority of women also return to work after pregnancy: 71 percent of mothers are in the labor force. In 2015, 42 percent of working mothers were their family’s primary breadwinner and nearly another one-quarter of mothers were co-breadwinners. Because preparing for a new baby means preparing for increased expenses, a woman’s wages will often be particularly important to her family when she is pregnant.

Mismatch between job duties and the demands of pregnancy tends to take a particular toll on low-income women, who are more likely to work in jobs that offer limited flexibility. It also harms women in relatively high-paying, physically demanding jobs traditionally held by men, such as trucking or policing—jobs that already are often particularly difficult for women to enter. And for the five to eight percent of pregnant women experiencing intimate partner violence, such mismatch undermines the economic independence that is critical to escaping a violent relationship. When women face a physical conflict between work and childbearing, they will often lose their job, and their families will lose income at the very moment their financial needs increase.

The Legal Landscape for Pregnant Workers

Before Congress passed the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 (PDA), it was common for employers to categorically exclude pregnant women from the workforce.  The PDA changed this forever by guaranteeing the right not to be treated adversely because of pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, and the right to be treated at least as well as other employees “not so affected but similar in their ability or inability to work.” 

Unfortunately, many courts interpreted the PDA narrowly and allowed employers to refuse to accommodate workers with medical needs arising out of pregnancy even when they routinely accommodated other physical limitations. In Young v. UPS, the Supreme Court  held that when an employer accommodates workers who are similar to pregnant workers in their ability to work, it cannot refuse to accommodate pregnant workers who need it simply because it “is more expensive or less convenient” to accommodate pregnant women too. The Court also held that an employer that fails to accommodate pregnant workers violates the PDA when its accommodation policies impose a “significant burden” on pregnant workers that outweighs any justification the employer offers for those policies. The Young decision was an important victory for pregnant workers, but the multi-step balancing test it set out still left many important questions unanswered and created uncertainty about when exactly the PDA requires pregnancy accommodations.

In addition, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires employers to make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. However, courts have consistently held that ordinary pregnancy is not a disability.

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act Strengthens and Affirms Protections for Pregnant Workers

The Pregnant Workers Fairness Act (PWFA) (H.R. 2417, S. 1101) would answer the questions left open by the Supreme Court by setting out a simple, easy-to-apply legal standard that would provide clarity for employers and employees alike.  The PWFA would let pregnant women continue to do their jobs and support their families by requiring employers to make the same sorts of accommodations for pregnancy, childbirth, and related medical conditions that the ADA requires employers to make for disabilities.

  • The PWFA would require employers to make reasonable accommodations for employees who have limitations stemming from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions, unless the accommodation would impose an undue hardship on the employer. For example:
  • An employer might be required to modify a no-food-or-drink policy for a pregnant employee who experiences painful or potentially dangerous uterine contractions when she does not regularly drink water.
  • An employer might be required to provide a stool to a pregnant cashier who was experiencing leg pain and swelling from standing for long periods of time.
  • An employer might be required to reassign heavy lifting duties to other employees for some portion of an employee’s pregnancy.
  • An employer might be required to provide an available light duty position to a pregnant police officer who was temporarily unable to go on patrol because no bulletproof vest would fit her.
  • The PWFA would prohibit employers from discriminating against employees because they need this sort of reasonable accommodation. In other words, an employer would not be allowed to fire a pregnant employee to avoid making any job modifications, or to retaliate against an employee who had asked for an accommodation.
  • The PWFA would prohibit employers from forcing a pregnant employee to take paid or unpaid leave when another reasonable accommodation would allow the employee to continue to work. While the employee would remain free to choose to use any leave available to her, she would not be forced off the job and onto leave against her will.

The PWFA relies on a reasonable accommodation framework already familiar to employers accustomed to the ADA’s requirements.  It would ensure that women with medical needs arising out of pregnancy are treated as well in the workplace as workers with disabilities are treated and would provide real solutions to those workers currently being asked to choose between their pregnancy and their paycheck.

Make Food Safety Part of Your Father’s Day


Still looking for a Father’s Day gift? Consider getting a food thermometer, perfect for safe grilling during the warm months.

When using a food thermometer, remember these three easy steps to cook like a PRO:

1. Place the thermometer

2. Read the temperature

3. Off the Grill!

Read more about how to cook like a PRO.



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