Happy Father’s Day
And the mother who gave it to us
Sonora Dodd is widely credited with the creation of Father’s Day. The first one was organized by her in Spokane, Washington in 1910. The history of her struggle to make it an annual holiday is told on the website fathersdaybirthplace.com maintained in Spokane, and on a HistoryLink page. Although the holiday was being observed all around the country by the mid-1920’s, it took until 1966 for President Lyndon Johnson’s proclamation setting it to be the third Sunday in June, and 1970 for a joint House-Senate resolution making it a national holiday, which President Richard Nixon signed into law in 1972.
Today Ken and I wish all fathers a happy day.
Many countries around the world celebrate Father’s Day on the same day we do, and others on their own day. Some that celebrate this Sunday are:
A Personal Note
Both Ken and I are fathers of great kids, which makes us both very proud. We are also both without our fathers, sadly both have passed away. But neither is forgotten, and we think of them every day—especially on Father’s Day. Thanks to our dear dads; they did so much for us.
Mathematics Of The Day
As we stated by law, Father’s Day is the third Sunday of June. Many holidays have rules like this for when they occur. Mother’s Day is the second Sunday in May. President Bill Clinton in 1994 created a designation for the fourth Sunday in July. Can you guess what it is, before looking? We might consider observing Children’s Day on the fifth Sunday in August, on grounds that children should sometimes be seen and not heard (or vice-versa?). Actually, observance of Children’s Day in the U.S. pre-dates even Mother’s Day by several decades, and the United Nations observes it on November 20.
When I was quite young my family took me to Washington DC for a trip. We visited many of the usual tourist stops, and we did visit the U.S. Mint. At the very end of the guided tour the guide looked at me and said: Too bad you were not here last Monday. On the sixth Monday of each month we give out free samples. My eyes went wide open—free samples. My dad started to laugh and I finally realized that this was never going to happen. Too bad.
Here are some nice puzzles about days of the week:
If I said that in three days’ time it would be a Thursday, I am sure that most of you would have no difficulty telling me that today was a Monday.
Try this one then: Yesterday was two days before Monday. What day is it today? Yes, you’re right again. It’s Sunday. Do you get the idea?
Now let’s tackle a similar question from The National Mathematics Contest (1991) Paper:
Three days ago, yesterday was the day before Sunday. What day will it be tomorrow?
Finally Ken adds one he heard from a colleague: Alice lives in a state with a long Atlantic coast, and Bob in a state with lots of Pacific coast. They call, and see exactly the same time on their cellphones. What day of the week is it, and can you say what time of year?
Have a great and fun Father’s Day.