First Father’S Day Took Place In West Virginia In 1908


In observance of Father’s Day this Sunday, I thought it would be fun to look at how dads’ special day came be.

It appears that the first observance of Father’s Day took place in Fairmont, West Virginia on July 5, 1908. It was organized by Mrs. Grace Golden Clayton, who wanted to celebrate the lives of the 210 fathers who had been killed in a local mining disaster several months earlier. It’s possible she was influenced by the first celebration of Mother’s Day that same year, just a few miles away.

President Calvin Coolidge recommended in 1924 that “Father’s Day” be observed by the nation, but stopped short of issuing a national proclamation. Two earlier attempts to formally recognize the holiday had been defeated by Congress. In 1957, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote a proposal accusing Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers, thus “singling out just one of our two parents.”

President Lyndon B. Johnson, in 1966, issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law.

A number of beautiful songs have been written about the love a father has for his children and just how special fathers are. One of my favorites is the country song “Love Without End, Amen.”

In the song, the artist tells the tale of the many times he tested his father’s love and tried his patience, but each time his father would reply with “Let me tell you a secret about a father’s love, a secret that my daddy said was just between us. You see, daddies don’t just love their children every now and then. It’s a love without end, amen. It’s a love without end, amen.”

This week’s music trivia question is: Can you name the country music artist who sang the 1990 No. 1 country hit “Love Without End, Amen?”

Is it singer/guitarist A) George Jones, B) George Strait, C) George Hamilton IV, or D) George Clooney?

This week, if you’re the fifth caller and have the correct answer, you’ll win a $20 gift certificate to The 260 Café, donated by the restaurant’s friendly owners Diane and Don Sweatt. What a great way to treat a father to a great home-cooked meal, and at the same time experience this cozy café’s 1950s rock ’n’ roll motif.

Now, let’s check out how we did with last week’s music trivia question: Along with the hit “Windy,” which topped Billboard’s pop chart for four weeks in 1967, what is the name of the all-male group that also scored top 10 hits with “Along Comes Mary,” “Cherish” and “Never My Love?”

Is this band A) The Organization, B) The Association, C) The Agency, or D) The Company?

The correct answer was The Association.

Congratulations to this past week’s music trivia winner, Michelle Janusz, who for her correct answer won a CD of her favorite hits.

A little about Michelle. She was born in Springfield, Mo. and moved with her family to Phoenix when she was an infant. She graduated from the Valley’s East High School, which has since been sold and is now a church.

Michelle told me an interesting story about how she and her husband first got together. When Michelle was a freshman in high school, she became infatuated with a neighbor, Joseph. But being a much older man (he was a junior at the school), Joseph could only tell Michelle to “Come back when you grow up, girl, you’re still living in a paper doll world.” (For those old enough to remember late 1960s music, you probably recall Bobby Vee crooning those lyrics on your transistor radio.)

Three years later, with Michelle now all “grown up,” Joseph asked her to join him for their first date at Montie’s Steakhouse in Tempe. Now, after 40 years of marriage, they are the parents of five children and five grandchildren. After moving from expanding Phoenix to what was then the sleepy little town of Queen Creek, Michelle and Joseph moved to Payson five years ago — again to escape urban sprawl. She has since completed a medical assistant program at Gila Community College and hopes to soon get a job in her area of specialization.

Michelle enjoys playing the piano at the LDS church, walking her dogs and spending time in the forest. Her favorite music is “oldies” from the mid-1960s to mid-1970s and says her favorite artists are Restless Heart, whom she recently saw in concert; Styx and the Eagles.

Lastly, kudos, a pat on the back and two big, big thumbs up to Mayor Kenny Evans for his continued persistence and long hours of hard work to bring a four-year college to Payson.

I’m still pinching myself thinking that the mayor’s dream of bringing a school offering bachelor’s degrees to the Rim Country will become a reality with groundbreaking ceremonies set for later this year. What an amazing thing to happen to Payson and the Rim Country.

Happy Father’s Day, dads!

DJ Craig , Phone: 468-1482 Web site:


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