This Month In History: June

June 21, 2020

1) Father’s Day: June 1972

via Pixabay

If the history behind Mother’s Day fascinates you, you’ll want to read this! Even though Mother’s Day was established in 1914, Father’s Day wasn’t an officially recognized day in the United States until fifty-eight years later. But who gets the credit for creating Father’s Day? That would be Sonora Smart Dodd. After her mother died, Dodd and her five siblings were raised by her father. When Dodd learned that mothers were being recognized with Mother’s Day, she started drumming up support for a day to recognize fathers. On June 19th, 1910, the state of Washington celebrated what is considered the United States’ first Father’s Day. While some people loved the idea of a Father’s Day, others looked down on the idea of a special day for fathers that seemed to focus on gifts rather than celebrating fathers themselves—even Congress vetoed two different attempts to recognize Father’s Day! It wasn’t until 1972 that President Richard Nixon signed a bill to make Father’s Day an official federal holiday celebrated on the third Sunday of every June.

2) June 1972: The First Female Rabbi

via Freepik

Quick—when we say the word priest or rabbi, do you envision this person as a man or woman? If you thought man, don’t be surprised. The majority of priests or rabbis are, in fact, men. That’s why when Sally Jane Priesand decided to study to become a rabbi at the Hebrew Union College, she was doing something radical. No woman had ever studied to become a rabbi before! It was so radical that the admissions committee initially denied her admission. Priesand was eventually allowed to join the all-male program and became the first female rabbi in the United States. While she faced many hurdles in her career including promotion denials and rejection from many temples, she paved the path for other women to become rabbis.

3) June 1999: Napster

via Freepik

The history of digital music changed with one small company. Napster was a music file-sharing service that Shawn Fanning and Sean Parker introduced to a small group of people on June 1st, 1999. Before long, millions of people were copying and sharing music files on Napster, making the service a raging hit. While popular with users, Napster was despised by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The RIAA claimed that Napster was breaking copyright laws by allowing people to copy music files without purchasing the file itself. The RIAA eventually sued Napster and shut down the company in 2002. Napster may have folded, but its innovative idea influenced the streaming services we use today!

4) June 9, 1898: Hong Kong

On June 9th, 1898, Britain signed a lease with China for a ninety-nine-year lease of Hong Kong. When the lease ended in 1997, Hong Kong was declared a semi-autonomous region that would last for the next fifty years. If you hear of unrest in Hong Kong today, it is because China is threatening to end the fifty-year independent status that was previously agreed upon.

5) June 12, 1898: Philippines Independence

via Pixabay

The Philippines declared its independence from Spain on June 12, 1898. During the Spanish-American War, Filipino rebels fought alongside American troops to free the country of Spanish controls. Well, not for long. Soon after the war ended, the United States turned around and took control of the Philippines. It wasn’t until 1946 that the Philippines declared freedom from the United States too. So which date is Philippines’ Independence Day? The day they were liberated from Spain.