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Father's Day Google Doodle: Ultimate honor for dear old dad

June 16, 2012|By Rene Lynch

Father's Day 2012 arrives in cutting-edge style: Via a Google Doodle featuring an animated, remote-controlled robot serving a coffee mug declaring dear old dad #1.

Google Doodles typically offer up honors to the obscure and the offbeat. This Google Doodle, however, underscores the challenge many Americans face when the Father's Day holiday rolls around on the third Sunday of each June. Buy a tie for dad? Or some grilling accouterments? Socks? A round of golf?

Why is it so hard to find the perfect gift for Pops?

A survey by the National Retail Federation predicts that Americans will spend more on this Father's Day than ever before — an average of about $117 for gifts compared with $107 last year. 

Believe it or not, there is some controversy surrounding this holiday, which dates to 1910: That's when Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Wash., called for a day to honor dads, including her own father. (He was a widower and Civil War veteran who raised six children by himself.)

It would take decades, though, for nationwide recognition of Dodd's efforts. That came in 1966, when President Lyndon B. Johnson designated the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. A few years later, in 1972, President Richard M. Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday. 

The controversy is this: Some say the day should be spelled "Fathers' Day" — honoring all fathers worldwide. Others say it should be spelled "Father's Day," suggesting the honoring of one's own father.

However you decide to spell it: Dad, You're #1!   

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Join Rene Lynch on Google+ or Twitter. Email: rene.lynch@latimes.com

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