Dad doesn’t need another necktie. What’s more, he doesn’t want another tie, especially one not of his choosing. That’s the beauty of chocolate. It saves you from acting out the tiresome cliché of offering up yet another tie on Father’s Day. It spares your father the humiliation of having to wear it. And it allows both of you the simple joy of celebrating his laudable patriarchy and your sincere generosity by enjoying Bernard Callebaut chocolate together.
No one’s sure exactly when chocolate first rescued fathers from the torment of garish ties. But the advent of Father’s Day itself is well documented.
On a Sunday in 1909, listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in eastern Washington State, Sonora Dodd thought of her father. His name was William Smart. He was a Civil War veteran. When Sonora’s mother died giving birth to her sixth child, William instantly became a single parent whose responsibilities included raising Sonora and her five siblings in addition to managing the family farm.
It was an awesome burden. But the deep gratitude Sonora felt is a testament to how successfully William shouldered it. She remembered that he was selfless, courageous, and loving. She wanted to honour him for it. She wanted to honour all fathers who embodied the attributes that hers had.
She rallied the people of Spokane, Washington to join her in celebrating the first Father’s Day on June 19, 1910—William Smart’s birthday. The idea caught on.
In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge announced his support for a national Father’s Day. In 1966 President Lyndon Johnson officially declared the third Sunday of June to be Father’s Day. And in 1972 President Richard Nixon signed the law establishing Father’s Day as a national holiday in the United States.
People’s concept of Father’s Day has since expanded to include all men who act as a father figure. Stepfathers, uncles, grandfathers, even adult male friends who’ve provided fatherly guidance and protection are now honoured on Father’s Day in 34 nations worldwide. The date varies in some, but the purpose is consistent: say “thank you” to the men who’ve emulated Sonora Dodd’s father, William Smart.