Celebrating Fatherhood

Celebrating Fatherhood

Father’s Day is June 16

“My grandfather is the best and I want to thank him for stepping in since Daddy died.”

— Chanel Yancey on her grandfather Jack Byrd


June is a month for Dads and grads with families across the region preparing to celebrate fatherhood, paternal bonds and the influence of fathers as Father’s Day approaches June 16.

“My father is an amazing guy,” said Calvin Brown of his father Lorenzo Brown. “He does sometimes get on my nerves but he always does it for a reason. He has also taught me a lot of lessons growing up, like to watch who I hang around with and who to trust.”

The nation’s first Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, in the state of Washington. However, it was not until 1972 — 58 years after President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day official — that the day honoring fathers became a nationwide holiday in the United States under President Richard Nixon.

The idea for Father’s Day originated with Sonora Smart Dodd, a woman from Spokane. She wanted to memorialize the love of all fathers across the globe. Her inspiration came from her own father, William Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran who raised her and her five siblings as a single parent after their mother died in childbirth.

Alexandria families are preparing special dinners and cookouts to celebrate fathers, grandfathers and paternal bonds.

“I love my grandfather,” said Chanel Yancey of her grandfather Jack Byrd. “I am so happy he is in my life. He is the best and I want to thank him for stepping in since Daddy died. I want him to know how much I appreciate him.”

Father’s Day is an opportunity to recognize not only biological fathers but also stepfathers, grandfathers, uncles, and other father figures. It is a chance to acknowledge the sacrifices, guidance, and love that fathers provide.

“My grandfather is really a great man,” said Jalen Byrd of Jack Byrd. “He’s a great role model and someone I aspire to be. I am grateful every day to have him in my life.”