In 1959, Father’s Day was not yet recognized as a National Holiday. The story of Father’s Day started back in 1910 when Mrs. John Bruce Dodd in Spokane, Washington established Father’s Day as a tribute to her father. When she was younger, her mother died and her Father reared the children and did a great job taking care of their every need. In 1931, several businessmen, civic leaders, and concerned citizens came together and organized “The Father’ Day Council”. They wanted to create the Father’s Day Council to have a universal observance of Father’s Day.
In 1942, The National Father’s Day Committee was formed to increase attention to the Father’s Day holiday. They decided to have a “Father of the Year honor” on contemporary life style leaders in our society. Congress officially passed legislation in 1971 to make Father’s day a national holiday. Father’s Day is every third Sunday in June.
In 1978, the Father’s Day council decided to recognize the role of both parents’ roles in the family unit. They purchased the National Committee for the Observance of Mother’s Day. The National Mother’s Day Council was incorporated with the National Father’s Day Council to form the Father’s Day/Mother’s Day Council, Inc.
June 21, 1959 was a great Father’s Day for many Fathers, especially those who won the award for the National Father of the Year. The winners were Arthur Godfrey, Andy Griffith, Alfred M. Gruenther, Oscar Hammerstein II, Richard Rogers, and Bob Turley.
Arthur Godfrey was born in New York City on August 31, 1903. Arthur Godfrey became an American radio and television broadcaster and entertainer who was nicknamed, “The Old Redhead”. In 1938, he married the former Mary Bourke and he became a father to three children. He was in the television series Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts from 1948 – 1958, and Arthur Godfrey and His Friends from 1949 – 1959. He was in the film Texas in 1963, The Glass Bottom Boat in 1966, and Where Angels Go…Trouble Follows in 1968. He was on the Radio for Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts from 1945 – 1948 and Arthur Godfrey Time from 1960 – 1972. Arthur Godfrey died from emphysema in New York City on March 16, 1983.
Andy Griffith was born on June 1, 1926 in Mount Airy, North Carolina. Andy Griffith was best known for his role in the television series The Andy Griffith Show from 1960 through 1968. He played the father role of Andy Tayor and in the June 20, 2004 issue of the TV Guide, he was ranked #8 in the list of the “50 Greatest TV Dads of All Time”. He was in another popular television series, Matlock from 1986 through 1995. Andy first married Barbara Edwards and had two children that were adopted. Griffith on August 26, 1946 and became a father to two adopted children. Since then he has had two divorces and is currently married to Cindi Knight.
Alfred Gruenther was born on March 3, 1899 in Platte Center, Nebraska. He was the youngest four-star Major General in World War II in the United States history. He was an advisor and planner to top generals in World War II. After World War II, he became deputy commander of the United States forces in Austria and eventually was appointed supreme allied commander in Europe/commander-in-chief of the United States European Command in 1953. He retired in 1956 and became the President of the American Red Cross from 1957 until 1964. He married Cellist Brigitta Czernik and was the father of seven children.
Oscar Hammerstein II was born on July 12, 1895 in New York City, New York. Oscar Hammerstein II was known as an American writer and producer and won eight Tony Awards. He also directed some musicals. Oscar Hammerstein II was a father to three children. His first wife was Myra Finn and they had two children together. His second wife was Dorothy Blanchard and they had one child together. He died on August 23, 1960 at the age of 65 in Doylestown, Pennsylvania.
Richard Rodgers was born on June 28, 1902 in New York City, New York. Richard Rodgers was an American composer of music and wrote more than 900 songs and 40 Broadway musicals in his lifetime. Richard Rodgers has won an Oscar, a Grammy, an Emmy, and a Tony award, and a Pulitzer Prize award. He is one of the only two people that have won all of these awards. The other person was Marvin Hamlisch. He married Dorothy Bell Feiner and had a daughter named Mary. Mary was the composer of Once Upon a Mattress and an author of children’s books. He also lost another daughter at birth, and became a father to his daughter named Linda. Richard Rogers died on December 30, 1979 at the age of 77.
Bob Turley was born on September 19, 1930 in Troy, Illinois. He was known as “Bullet Bob” who was a Major League Baseball pitcher. Bob Turley’s best year was in 1958, when he won 21 games and lost 7 games. He also won Game 7 of the World Series for the New York Yankees and he won the Hickok Belt as the top professional athlete of the year, the Cy Young Award as the best pitcher in Major League baseball, and the World Series Most Valuable Player Award. Bob Turley is married and has four children, two stepchildren and 17 grandchildren and he is currently 78 years old.
Happy Father’s Day to all the wonderful Fathers in our world!