Yesterday was Father’s Day in many countries. While we may think of it as a commercialized holiday , its roots stretch as far as the Middle France Ages. Its modern beginnings date to 1910. Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Wash., is thought to have hosted the first Father’s Day celebration to honor her father, a Civil War veteran who raised her and her five siblings after their mother died. In France, Father’s Day was introduced in 1950 by a manufacturer of cigarette lighters as part of an effort to lift sales during the slow summer season. Germany celebrates on Ascension Day, the Thursday 39 days after Easter, and men traditionally hike together while pulling a small wagon filled with wine or beer. In Thailand, it is typically observed on Dec. 5, the birthday of the former king. In the U.S., the third Sunday in June has been officially reserved for dads since 1972, when President Richard Nixon, the father of two daughters, signed it into law. “In fatherhood we know the elemental magic and joy of humanity,” Nixon wrote in his proclamation .
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