Father's Day, by the numbers
It's estimated that 94 million Father's Day cards are exchanged annually, according to Hallmark.
June 17th, 2012
08:00 AM ET

Father's Day, by the numbers

Every year on the third Sunday in June, we celebrate Dad with his own day.  The idea sprang from the mind of one woman who thought that fathers, just like mothers, deserved their own holiday. Sonora Louise Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, celebrated the first Father's Day on June 19, 1910 - her father's birthday.

In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge publicly supported a national Father's Day, and in 1966, President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed it a national holiday. Following up in 1972, President Richard Nixon signed a permanent U.S. Father's Day into law, observed on the third Sunday in June.

Father's Day is also the fourth-largest card-sending occasion. Here's a breakdown of the other intriguing numbers that follow this holiday.

70.1 million – The estimated number of fathers in the United States

24.7 million – The number of married men with children under 18 at home in the United States

1.7 million – The number of single fathers in the United States in 2011.

170,000 – The number of single fathers raising three or more children.

176,000 – Estimated number of stay-at-home dads in the U.S. in 2011.

94 million – Estimated number of Father’s Day cards exchanged annually, according to Hallmark.

$117.14 – Estimated amount that the average person will spend on Father’s Day gifts in 2012, according to the National Retail Federation.

$12.7 billion – Estimated amount that consumers will spend on Father’s Day cards and gifts in 2012.

1910 – The first Father’s Day is celebrated in Spokane, Washington.

1972 – The year President Richard Nixon signed the law that designates the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day.

[cnn-video url="http://cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/living/2012/06/15/open-mic-fathers-day.cnn.html"%5D

Just for fun – daddies, papas and fathers

92 – Age of Les Colley of Australia at the birth of his son Oswald in 1992. He holds the Guinness World Record for the oldest man to father a child.

0 – Number of children fathered by Presidents George Washington, James Madison, Andrew Jackson, James Polk, James Buchanan and Warren Harding.

$1.22 billion – Estimated sales at pizza restaurant Papa John’s in 2011, according to Hoovers.com

1 – Highest chart position on the Billboard Hot 100 for “Papa Don’t Preach” by Madonna.

$15 – Cost of a loaf of “Papa Don’t Peach” bread made by Breadwinner bakery in Atlanta.

3 – Number of awards won by the Temptations’ song “Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone” at the 1972 Grammy Awards.

50 – Number of years the Rolling Stones have been together with Mick Jagger as lead singer.

7 – Number of children fathered by Mick Jagger.

Here on CNN.com, we're also celebrating "Dear Old Dad" with our special coverage. Be sure to check this ultimate guide to the stories that pay tribute to Dad, whether he's no longer with us or enjoying Sunday's holiday on the couch with his favorite meal, and his favorite people.

soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. Philip

    President Kalvin K. Koolidge also supported the KKK. (he actually had his name spelled with 'K's to get the Klan vote)
    And who needs a dad when having two mothers (lesbians) is held in such high regard?
    Fathers day is a crock...a once most-esteemed position in the family arrangement has been eroded to a simple alternative. The result? We actually have rebellious teenagers, even mere children, who have the RIGHT to talk-back to their father, even throwing fits in public in violation of the fathers commands, and if the father dare use the rod of discipline as spoken of in our bibles...Poof! He goes to jail.
    Happy Fathers Day.

    June 17, 2012 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
    • J. Walker

      I'd like to denounce your commentary as the product of trolling....I'd like to....but I can't.
      Most if not all of these made up observances are nothing more than the product of marketing machinery. When you see statistics about how many gifts, cards, etc you know it's a commercial construct. It's about as meaningful as those printed valentine heart candies which is the product of another false holiday. Keep shining the light of truth on all this drivel, someone out there supports your view..

      June 17, 2012 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  2. Kevin

    Fatherhood is by far the most important thing I've ever done. It's simply what I live for. I get to spend today with my daughters ... even if we do absolutely nothing, it will still be awesome.

    June 17, 2012 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    To the men who were in the delivery room
    To the men who weren't afraid to change a dirty diaper
    To the men who let their daughter put mak-up on to make them "pretty"
    To the men who taught their kids the best way to bait a hook
    To the men who looked under beds for "monstersL
    To the men who call it "watching their kids" instead of "babysitting"
    To the men who espouse "Daddy and me" days
    To the men wo are actually there for their kids, instead of using them as a cute accessory
    To the men who earned to the right to walk their daughter down the aisle
    And to all of the men who stepped up to the plate when bio-dad was too selfish to do any of the above....


    June 17, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  4. saywhat

    Every day has to be Fathers Day or a Mothers Day. I agree with the observation that celebrating a designated day is now a "commercial construct".
    Family unit as we knew it once and values have changed , today's society reflects that change.

    June 17, 2012 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  5. Mary

    To the men who choose to teach their daughters about the truth of God Jesus and the holy spirit ... thank you. 🙂

    June 17, 2012 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  6. Philip

    hagd everyone. See ya tonight, perhaps.

    June 17, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Michael Lavelle

    Thank you for your stats but I would like to remind you that there is a world out there beyond the United States.
    We celebrate fathers day in Europe too. Life does not revolve around the U.S.A. Perhaps you might think about that next time you take the trouble to write something. Broaden your research to include the rest of us instead of just America.

    June 17, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy©

    Agreed...avery holiday means big money to some corporation or another.
    A lot of deviation from every holiday's true meaning has occurred.
    Should we abolish those holidays also?
    There are enough of the populace left that know the true meanings, and celebrate them accordingly.

    June 17, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  9. anonymouse

    To the fathers who allowed their daughters to wear suggestive clothing and dark makeup thereby attracting boys with suggestive ideas and dark thoughts of having relations with your daughters at 14...have fun raising your own grandchildren as your own daughter goes to play.

    June 17, 2012 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Mary

    And what is so ugly (Father view of a daughter being ugly) about a daughter that she would have to wear make up to make her look "pretty". still waiting for Cheryl, opps she just texted me "on my way" 🙂 she's a good egg.. 🙂 bye all, gotta dash out now.

    June 17, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Old Driller w/no TV (Philip, duh)

    @Michael Lavelle. Allow me to remind you that Europe runs on oil just as the US does. Furthermore, ALL INTERNATIONAL oilsales are paid for using US dollars...not the brit pound, not the eurodollar...US currency and ONLY US currency.
    The world has ALWAYS revolved arounf the mightiest superpower throughout history, even today. Thus making the American Dad daddycat of all kitties.

    June 17, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    Oh, I see some confusion here.
    To all the fathers who let their daughters put make up on the FATHERS to make them look "pretty."

    God, where are people's minds these days?

    June 17, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  13. MB

    I just wanted to be happy today... Didn't get it.
    It still feels like mothers day in my marriage.
    Anybody else?...

    June 17, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Old Driller w/no TV (Philip, duh)

    We abolished the need for marriage. Why stop there? We abolished illegal abortions...making them legal. Why stop there? We abolished God from our classrooms. Why stop there?
    My point is, why keep these holidays honoring what we have already abolished? Let's just cut-to-the-chase and admit what we've done to ourselves as a peoples.
    Abolish organized religions. ty Seriouslty! Why act as if we love God and his family arrangement when in reality, our holidays honoring God and his ways are nothing more than excuses to profit monetarily.

    June 17, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Old Driller w/no TV (Philip, duh)

    ...opportunities to ACT as if we still love God and his idea of what a family is, while hereinreality, as a peoples, we simply don't.

    June 17, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
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