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Start of Summer, Father’s Day is this Weekend

A photo of a father, holding his young son, and a fish they apparently caught

The seasons change and fathers will be celebrated this weekend.

Summer will officially begin at 3:44 p.m. Saturday in Las Cruces, and Father’s Day will be on Sunday.

According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, June 20 marks the official beginning of summer in the Northern Hemisphere. Summer occurs when Earth arrives at the point in its orbit where the North Pole is at its maximum tilt (about 23.5 degrees) toward the Sun, resulting in the longest day and shortest night of the calendar year. By longest “day,” that means the longest period of sunlight. At the June solstice, the Northern Hemisphere receives sunlight at the most direct angle of the year.

Summer will last until Tuesday, September 22.

For most fathers, Father’s Day is a celebration when dads receive cards, gifts, and showers of admiration and thanks from their loved ones. Father’s Day has been celebrated for centuries on various dates in numerous countries throughout the world.

To honor Las Cruces’ dads, grandfathers, and father figures the City of Las Cruces will host a virtual Father’s Day Celebration at 10:30 a.m. Sunday.

The virtual event is organized by the Quality of Life Department as part of its #Cruces Cares initiative and will be broadcasted on the City’s Facebook page. The event includes music performances by Mexican pianist Romeyno Gutiérrez and Mexican folk band Los Pachamama, courtesy of the Mexican Consulate in El Paso, plus Father’s Day crafts and kid-friendly activities.

According to MilitaryBenefits.info., Father’s Day was first introduced in the U.S. in Spokane, Washington, by Sonora Smart Dodd. Ms. Dodd first proposed the idea of Father’s Day when her pastor gave a passionate speech about Mother’s Day and the importance of mothers.

Dodd went to her pastor and explained that her father, who was a Civil War veteran, had raised six children as a single parent and that fathers deserved a holiday just as much as mothers did. Father’s Day was proposed by Dodd to be on June 5, the birthday of her father. But the pastor had not prepared sermons in time and thus Father’s Day was postponed until the third Sunday in June.

The holiday did not stick right away, and the citizens of Spokane forgot about Father’s Day until Dodd graduated from college in the 1930’s and began promoting Father’s Day on a national level. She enlisted the help of manufacturers of ties, tobacco pipes, and any industry that would benefit the most from the adoption of Father’s Day.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson went to Spokane to speak in a Father’s Day celebration and wanted to make Father’s Day a national holiday. Congress resisted, and it was not until 1966 that President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers. It was not until 1972 that President Richard Nixon actually signed Father’s Day into Law.

We wish all fathers, grandfathers, father figures and other parental role models a happy Father’s Day.

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