The History Channel says:
The first known celebration of Father’s Day was on July 5, 1908 in Fairmont, West Virginia, where it was commemorated at William Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church South – now known as Central United Methodist Church. Grace Golden Clayton is believed to have suggested it to her pastor after a deadly explosion in nearby Monongah in December, killing 361 men.
It was also during a sermon in 1909 that Sonora Smart Dodd became inspired by Mother’s Day. After the death of her mother, Sonora and her siblings were raised by their father William Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran. Sonora wanted to show how thankful she was to her father and, because William was born in June, she worked to have the first Father’s Day celebrated on June 19, 1910.
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Update (6-22-09): A friend suggested a few more: Father of the Bride (with Spencer Tracy), Father Goose, and The Three Godfathers. In the “related” category: Captains Courageous, Watch on the Rhine, Shenandoah.
There’s a good movie I can’t think of now. It was made in the 80s (or 70s), and was about a father who led a “boring” life as a salesmen. His son had contempt for him, because he played everything safe. But then the father’s wife gets kidnapped, and the son finds out, as the plot unfolds, how much the father can really do — he was CIA (I think), but retired to take care of his family. Ring a bell for anyone? Know the name of this movie?