The roots of Father’s Day go back to the Catholic Church in Southern Europe during the Middle Ages, where fathers were honored as part of the feast of Saint Joseph, the “putative father of Jesus.”
Outside of Catholic traditions, Father’s Day was not celebrated in the U.S. until the 20th century, when it was introduced to complement Mother’s Day. After the first Mother’s Day in Grafton, West Virginia, the first Father’s Day was observed in Fairmont, West Virginia, to honor 250 fathers that were lost in the Monongah Mining Disaster of 1907.
After this event, there were a number of attempts to establish a formal Father’s Day in America, but they all failed. Finally, in 1966, Lyndon Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, and designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Six years later, President Richard Nixon declared it a permanent national holiday.