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Did You Know:
Facts, Figures & Folklore About
Father's Day & Fatherhood

The third Sunday in June is America's special day to celebrate our fathers. Here are some of the facts about our country's dads that you may not have known:

Did you know that the concept of Father's Day was first proposed in 1909 by Washingtonian native Mrs. John B. Dodd? Her inspiration for the holiday was to honor her own father, William Smart, a Civil War veteran and single dad, widowed when his wife died in childbirth with their sixth child.

Did you know that Mrs. Dodd's vision did not become reality until 63 years later? In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the 3rd Sunday of June as Father's Day.

Did you know that Americans aren't the only ones to celebrate their dads? In the United States and over 50 other countries around the world, Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in June. The first Sunday in June is when Lithuanian dads are honored; and on the second Sunday, dads in Austria and Belgium have their special day.

Did you know that fatherhood is an experience that bonds men across generations, continents and life styles? For example, even world famous dad Brad Pitt suffers from the dreaded effects of sleep deprivation. "I love it," he once said about fatherhood. "...and can't recommend it any more highly - although sleep is nonexistent."

Did you know that many child development experts believe the influence of a father on his children is most critical from the ages of six to 14? Former President George W. Bush, himself a father of two, agrees. As he wrote in the 2008 Presidential Proclamation for Father's Day, "By providing their sons and daughters with a positive example, fathers help give their children the necessary foundation they need to make wise decisions throughout their lives."

Did you know that since the 1950s, TV dads have wielded tremendous paternal influence over generations of American families? Some of the most popular fathers to grace our sets have included Ward Cleaver, Mike Brady, Howard Cunningham and Everybody Loves Raymond's Ray Barone.

Did you know that there are 64.3 million fathers in America?

Did you know that in families where the mother works outside of the home, 14% of fathers are full-time stay-at-home dads?

Did you know that nearly a quarter of all married dads have three or more children living at home?

Did you know that one in five single parents with primary custody is a dad? Did you know that 31% of them are due child support from their child's mother?

Did you know that 11% of Dads are stepdads, living full-time with their spouse's children? Did you know that 85% of Dads live only with their biological children?

Did you know two-thirds of children under the age of six eat dinner with their dads every day?

Did you know that six out ten children under the age of six were praised at least three times a day by their fathers?

Did you know that one in twelve men serving in the US Army are dads?

Did you know that one in four dads who work outside the home spend less than an hour a day with their kids?

And did you know that 38% of working dads say they would take a pay cut to spend more time with their kids?

(source for figures: US Census Bureau)

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Add Comment
21:32 08/11/2011
Steven Smith from United States
06:42 06/19/2011
I am a very proud father of three wonderful children but need to point out that in the above list of tv fathers, one was left out. Bill Cosby.
Arev Senkoh from Canada
03:57 05/19/2010
Great info - searching for info for a Newsletter - especially like the 'Did you know' section.
09:33 05/10/2010
I love this information, happy father's day to honor my dad and my husband. Thanks! Diane
Comment from Pennsylvania, US
17:04 06/21/2009
to all people, ive made a website to honor my mom last year for mothers day, so this year im making one for my daddy! hes the best dad in the world even thow he and my mommy are getting devorced i still love them! I love you daddy!!!
sarah smiky from Louisiana, US
16:51 06/21/2009
sonia malik from Pakistan
00:40 06/19/2009
i love my dad so much bcz he gives me every thing....i love u dad...:)
12:37 06/18/2009
Father's Day
gregory barnes
12:46 06/17/2009
To all the Fathers of the world, have a blessed day because God gave his only son you and i. amen and amen?
14:58 06/14/2009
Eddie, we might find something we can use for the booklets. Thanks! Peggy

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