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Father’s Day and Mother’s Day occupy sacred positions in American society—at least today. Unbeknownst to many, however, there was a campaign in the 1920s and 1930s to change Father’s Day and Mother’s Day to Parents’ Day, so that fathers and mothers would be honored on the same day. The campaign, based in New York City, was essentially a debate about the cultural position of parents in American society. How the campaign came to be—and why, in the end, it failed—illustrate the political maneuvering that characterizes people’s efforts to draw symbolic boundaries around fatherhood and motherhood.


Originally published in:

Ralph LaRossa and Jaimie Ann Carboy. "'A Kiss for Mother, A Hug for Dad': The Early 20th Century Parents' Day Campaign," Fathering: A Journal of Theory, Research, and Practice about Men as Fathers, 2008, vol. 6, pp. 249-266. DOI: 10.3149/fth.0603.249

Posted with the permission of the publisher.

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