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Postcard from the Past: What’s the Matter With Father?

by Wyoming Livestock Roundup

A headline in the June 14, 1918 issue of the Riverton Chronicle asks the above question, then goes on to report the following story:

Back a year or so in the distance, someone suggested a national celebration of Father’s Day, but father doesn’t seem to have as many boosters as mother, who even has the chief executive on her side to aid in making a big thing of the fete.

The Cheyenne State Leader has this to say about Father’s Day:

We forget whether or not we have a Father’s Day in this country. If such a day was celebrated last year, it was all done so quietly it did not make any impression on us, but why not have a Father’s Day with a big rally in the parks? 

Prizes could be given in contests, such as an endurance contest in holding the baby, a speed contest in transferring money from the pay envelope to the wife, a dish washing contest, a speed contest in putting up screen doors and a rug beating contest.

Another article concerning Father’s Day appeared in the May 8, 1913 issue of the Cheyenne State Leader. In part, it reads:

Father’s Day

No one, unless he be the rent man or assessor, appears to take much interest in dad. About the only way for him to win attention would be to contact bubonic plague or run amuck with a gun.

Mother’s day has been celebrated for several years with more or less enthusiasm – yes, even éclat – but it remained for Boston to take up a Father’s Day and try to establish it on a foundation of sentiment and public regard. 

The occasion was a fizzle. There was no more vociferation or enthusiasm than there would have been at a chess tournament. A hurrah could not have been found with a search warrant.

The world wastes little sentiment on father. He works six days a week and rakes the yard, cuts the grass, plants the spring garden, beats the rugs and does other light chores around home on the seventh. Really, it would be hard to grow sentimental over a father with his sprouting two-days’ beard and melancholy droop to his trouser knees.

So far as his day is concerned, give him four bits for a front seat at the ball game or a fish pole, can of bait and a round trip ticket to the nearest trout stream – together with assurance the wife and kiddies are all right – and he will have his day, returning with a smile on his face and a coat of tan on his neck ready to commit an assault and battery on any “cold vittles” lying around loose. – Denver Times

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