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Obama Offers Uncomplicated Advice for Father's Day

  • VOA News

President Barack Obama jokes with his daughter Malia Obama as they walk to board Air Force One from the Marine One helicopter, April 7, 2016, as they leave Chicago en route to Los Angeles.

President Barack Obama jokes with his daughter Malia Obama as they walk to board Air Force One from the Marine One helicopter, April 7, 2016, as they leave Chicago en route to Los Angeles.

Father's Day this year in the U.S. comes just one week after the massacre in an Orlando, Florida gay nightclub that ended with 49 people killed and 53 wounded.

President Barack Obama said in his weekly address "with Father's Day upon us" he has been "thinking a lot" about "the responsibilities we have to each other."

He offered uncomplicated advice. "Let's never forget how much good we can achieve simply by loving one another."


The death of loved ones was the impetus for the first Father's Day. Its humble origins begun on July 5, 1908 when a West Virginia church held a Sunday service in memory of 362 men who had died the previous year in explosions in coal mines.

The next year, a Spokane, Washington woman who was raised by her widowed father set out to establish a male equivalent of Mother's Day. She was successful and in 1910 Washington state celebrated the nation's first statewide Father's Day.

During the 1920s and 1930s, there was a move to merge Father's Day and Mother's Day into one holiday — Parents Day. When World War II began, however, advertisers urged the public to celebrate Father's Day as a way to honor the troops who were serving the country. They succeeded and by the end of the war, Father's Day was a national institution.

In 1972, president Richard Nixon recognized Father's Day as a national holiday.

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