The first observance of Father’s Day was on July 5, 1908, in Fairmont, West Virginia. Just two months prior, the first modern Mother’s Day celebration was held in the West Virginia town of Grafton.
Spotty Father’s Day observations occurred until the 1920s, when the celebration faded into obscurity for a time before the holiday was promoted again in the 1930s. At that time, trade groups that would benefit most from the holiday — such as manufacturers of ties, tobacco pipes and any traditional gift to fathers — were asked to help promote the holiday in order to raise awareness at a national level. And by 1938, the Father’s Day Council, founded by the New York Associated Men’s Wear Retailers to help with commercial promotion, got on board as well.