While fathers have existed throughout the entire existence of our society, we only recently began celebrating and honoring the men who helped raise us.
It all started on July 19, 1910, when the governor of Washington state proclaimed the nation's first "Father's Day." The day wasn't recognized as an official holiday until 1972, 58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother's Day official.
Mother's Day celebrations began following the Civil War when an activist tried bring mothers of Confederate and Union soldiers in a small West Virginia town together on "Mother's Work Days." Finally, in 1914, President Woodrow Wilson approved a resolution that made the second Sunday in May "Mother's Day."
And, many year's later father's finally got their own special day.
A church in West Virginia sponsored the first event explicitly honoring fathers when it honored 362 men killed in a 1908 mine explosion.
When the state of Washington took the first step in officially honoring fathers in 1910, the celebration quickly spread across the country.
Before Father's Day became official, groups started campaigns urging governments to ignore Mother's Day and Father's Day. Instead, they wanted to celebrate both on "Parent's Day."
After that didn't work, President Richard Nixon--during his re-election campaign--signed a proclamation, making Father's Day a federal holiday in 1972.