No matter what form it takes — father, grandfather, caretaker, or even pet parent — being a dad is one of the most meaningful roles one can assume. You’re taking care of a life, doing your best to mold and shape it and protect it. That’s why on June 20 every year, we give extra special attention to fathers of all kinds.
The first Father’s Day celebration in the U.S. occurred in Washington state on June 19, 1910. Sonora Smart Dodd, a woman who was raised by a widower, led the push for an annual celebration to honor fathers as the Mother’s Day equivalent for male parents. The event began to slowly gain popularity around the country, eventually being recognized by the President. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson raised a celebratory flag in Spokane from the White House in Washington, D.C. using telegraph signals, and in 1924, President Calvin Coolidge encouraged every state to support the day.
Father’s Day finally became an official federal holiday in 1972, and has remained a popular celebration ever since. The holiday gives us a chance to celebrate everything that makes our dads wonderful — and to make sure they know how much we appreciate them. This June 20, honor the dads in your life with these quotes about the joys and intricacies of fatherhood.
I have discovered very little in life that I am adept at doing. I cannot fix your car, repair your roof, or even drive a nail straight. However, I have given everything I have to being a father, and I happily stand back to see the results.
— Jim Brozina, writer
The best fathers have the softest, sweetest hearts. In other words, great dads are real marshmallows.
— Richelle E. Goodrich, author
This little soul that you’re feeding and you’re changing and you’re bathing and you’re telling bedtime stories to is a blank canvas. All it needs is love and nurturing. It’s the most wonderful feeling.
— Sir Elton John
No matter what drama I deal with at work, when I get home and hear them scream, ‘Daddy!’ I forget whatever it was I was stressed about.
— Mario Lopez, actor
The older I get, the smarter my father seems to get.
— Tim Russert, journalist
What makes you a man isn't the ability to have a child — it's the courage to raise one.
— Barack Obama
Being a dad isn’t just about eating a huge bag of gummy bears as your wife gives birth. It means being comfortable with the word hero.
— Ryan Reynolds
My mother gave me my drive, but my father gave me my dreams. Thanks to him, I could see a future.
— Liza Minnelli
Never is a man more of a man than when he is the father of a newborn.
— Matthew McConaughey
It is a wise father that knows his own child.
— William Shakespeare
A father’s smile has been known to light up a child’s entire day.
— Susan Gale, author
Being a great father is like shaving. No matter how good you shaved today, you have to do it again tomorrow.
— Reed Markham, author
My father didn’t tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him do it.
— Clarence Budington Kelland, writer
It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.
— Frederick Douglas
When you’re a dad, there’s no one above you. If I don’t do something that has to be done, who is going to do it?
— Jonathan Safran Foer
I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by little scraps of wisdom.
— Umberto Eco, medievalist and philosopher
Photo credit: Munro Studio/ Unsplash