In the United States, people celebrate their dads yearly on the third Sunday in June, Father's Day. The male equivalent to Like Mother's Day (which takes place on the second Sunday in May), Father's Day is a time to celebrate and show gratitude and appreciation for the dads or other important male figures in your life. If you celebrate each year, you likely don't think too much about it or ask very many questions, but have you ever wondered, why is Father's Day on a Sunday?
Although Mother's Day has some clear origin stories behind it, the history behind Father's Day is more murky. According to the website for the United States Embassy and Consulate in Korea, one possible reason that the U.S. celebrates Father's Day on the third Sunday in June is because Harry Meek, the president of the Chicago Lions' Club, was the one tasked with choosing the date in 1915 when the group celebrated. The site noted that he chose the date because it was closest to his birthday.
Another potential reason for the Sunday celebration is tied to Washington woman Sonora Smart Dodd. According to Time and Date, in 1910, Dodd conceived of a Father's Day church service that would be held on her own father's birthday as an homage to him. His birthday, June 5, was supposedly too soon for the church to pull together such an event, so it was instead scheduled for June 19. After that, the state of Washington celebrated Father's Day annually on the third Sunday in June.
The third Sunday in June date is apparently significant, nearly exclusively, to the United States. According to the website for the History Channel, many countries with large populations of Catholics, such as many in Europe and Latin America, tie Father's Day to the March 19 celebration of St. Joseph's Day. The U.S. holiday became national when President Lyndon Johnson issued a presidential proclamation on the third Sunday in June in 1966, as noted by the aforementioned resource from the U.S. Embassy and Consulate in Korea. According to Time and Date, it became a national holiday under President Nixon in 1972.
Although Father's Day in the U.S. has nearly always been celebrated on a Sunday, it's difficult to know exactly why. Regardless, the third Sunday in June will likely be dedicated to celebrating, appreciating, and remembering fathers and father figures for many years to come.