Sunday, June 17, 2012

Breaking down Father's Day

I'd like to say Happy Father's Day to my Pops--a special, special man and one who has had tremendous influence on my life and family.

So, let's take this occasion to have some fun and break down the numbers of Father's Day:

- A woman in Spokane, WA can be credited with "inventing" Father's Day.  She thought that Dads deserved their special day, just like Moms, and so celebrated the day on June 19, 1910--her father's birthday.

- President Calvin Coolidge publicly supported a national Father's Day but it wasn't until 1966 that President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed it a national holiday.  President Richard Nixon followed up in 1972 by signing a permanent U.S. Father's Day into law, observed on the third Sunday in June.  (And, yes, 1972 was a busy year for Nixon given that we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-in this week--a crime which took place in the same year as putting Father's Day into law.)

- How many fathers are there in America?  An estimated 70.1 million men can claim that title.

- There are 1.7 million single fathers in the U.S.  Of those, 170,000 are raising three or more children.

- 176,000 men are stay-at-home fathers.

- Hallmark estimates that 94 million Father's Day cards are exchanged each year, making it the fourth-biggest card "event" of the year.

- How much will we spend on Father's Day?  According to the National Retail Federation, the average person will spent $117.14 on their Pops or other fathers they know.

- The Guinness World Record for the oldest man to father a child is held by Les Colley of Australia, who sired his son, Oswald, at age 92.

- Did you know that Presidents Washington, Madison, Jackson, Polk, Buchanan and Harding had no children?

- "Papa Don't Preach," by Madonna, reached #1 on Billboard's Hot 100.  And, "Papa Was A Rolling Stone," by the Temptations, won three Grammys in 1972.

- And, finally, sticking with the music category, the Rolling Stones have been together 50 years with Mick Jagger as the lead singer.  Jagger has been prolific in the fatherhood department--he has seven children.

So, for all the fathers out there--enjoy this your special day and say a word of "thanks" to the woman in Spokane who decided that we needed our own Father's Day.

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