This Sunday is the day Americans set aside to honor their fathers. Here are 9 things you should know about dads and Father's Day.

1. After listening to a Mother's Day sermon in 1909, Sonora Dodd of Spokane, Wash. wanted a special day to honer her father, a widowed Civil War veteran who was left to raise his six children on a farm. The first Father's Day celebration, June 17, 1910, was proclaimed by Spokane's mayor because it was the month of Smart's birth.

2. The first presidential proclamation honoring fathers was issued in 1966 when President Lyndon Johnson designated the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. Father's Day has been celebrated annually since 1972 when President Richard Nixon signed the public law that made it permanent.

3. The rose is the official flower for Father's Day. Wearing a red rose signifies a living father, while white one represents a deceased father.

4. Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June in many countries in the world, including Canada, China, France, Greece, India, and Japan.

5. According to a 2012 poll from market-research firm Ipsos, most dads would prefer to either spend quality time with their families on Father's Day (40%) or receive no gift at all (22%). Gift cards were a distant third, at 13%.

6. Based on the unpublished Census data (2008), there are an estimated 70.1 million fathers across the nation. 24.4 million were part of married-couple families with children younger than 18 in 2012. 21 percent were raising three or more children younger than 18 (among married-couple family households only).

7. In the U.S., there are an estimated 189,000 stay-at-home dads (compared to 5 million stay-at-home moms). These married fathers with children younger than 15 have remained out of the labor force for at least one year primarily so they can care for the family while their wife works outside the home. These fathers cared for upward of 369,000 children.

8. There are 1.96 million single fathers (compared to 10.3 million single mothers) living with children younger than 18 in 2012; 16 percent of single parents were men. About 44 percent were divorced, 31 percent were never married, 20 percent were separated, and 5 percent were widowed.

9. Fathers have nearly tripled the amount of time they spend with their children, from 2.5 hours in 1965 to 7.3 hours per week in 2011, according to a Pew Research report that analyzed years of time-use data. Despite that increase, 46% of fathers said they spent too little time with their children, compared with 23% of mothers who said the same; half of dads said they spent the right amount of time.

Recent posts in this series:

9 Things You Should Know About Mothers and Mother's Day

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9 Things You Should Know About Planned Parenthood

9 Things You Should Know About the Boston Marathon Bombing

9 Things You Should Know About Female Body Image Issues

9 Things You Should Know About the Gosnell Infanticide and Murder Trial

9 Things You Should Know About Edith Schaeffer

9 Things You Should Know About Duck Dynasty

Joe Carter is an editor for The Gospel Coalition and the co-author of How to Argue Like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History’s Greatest Communicator. You can follow him on Twitter.

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Joe Carter


Joe Carter is an editor for The Gospel Coalition and the co-author of How to Argue Like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History’s Greatest Communicator. You can follow him on Twitter.

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