The holiday started as a proposal for a "father's day" in 1909 by a daughter of a Civil War veteran, William Smart. Smart raised six children himself after his wife died. The first Father's Day was observed on June 19, 1910, in Spokane, Wash. President Lyndon Johnson signed in 1966 a proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father's Day.
Today, gifts are usually given to fathers in honor of their influence in lives of families and friends. But a necktie may not be enough for gadget-hungry dads.
For Dads Who Like To Putter Around The House
Stanley Tape Rule ($35): This tape measure can extend 11 feet, longer than any other on the market.
Craftsman Hobby Vise ($30): The suction base lets you mount it on any smooth surface, and the swivel hinge allows maximum leverage for the task at hand.
Black and Decker 14.4-V Firestorm Cordless Drill ($100): Removable chuck allows you to go from drilling a hole to driving a screw faster, without changing bits.
Cool Sunglasses For Summer
Nautica Microgravity Sailor Eyewear ($160): A four-time America's Cup champ, Dennis Connor, helped design these lightweight sunglasses specifically for bright days on the open water. They'll also stand up to rough conditions.
New workout clothes for about $20-30 per item can keep dads dry. All the big sporting good companies have introduced new performance fabrics that make exercising a less sweaty undertaking. Different companies call it different names -- Nike calls theirs DRI FIT, Russell calls its DRI POWER but the effect is basically the same. These fabrics are super lightweight -a breathable polyester mesh. They transfer sweat from your skin to keep your body dry. Shirts and shorts don't stay sweaty when you're running or working out. Available at sporting goods stores nationwide:
- Russell Athletic Dri-Power tank, $20
- Russell Athletic Dri-Power shorts, $28
- Nike Dri-Fit tee, $30
- Nike short, $30
Teva Rodiums ($80): Footwear for river rats who want more protection than a sandal can promise.
Tommy Hilfiger Magnetic Money Clip Wallets ($15): The wallet, key chains and checkbook holders always make good Father's Day gifts. The Tommy Hilfiger magnetic money clip is a great alternative when you don't want to carry around your entire wallet. Leather clip snaps shut on bills, license and credit cards. Holds them securely. Comes in a cool leather box that can be used to hold cuff links or change on his dresser.
Leaving Midlife Crisis In Dust
Yamaha Road Star Warrior ($12,000): Part performance bike, part cruiser, this new addition to the Road Star line boasts the world's largest production air-cooled V-twin engine inside an aluminum frame with a 40-degree bank angle. Motorcyclist Magazine ranked it the top performance cruiser of the year.