A Little Father’s Day History
Sonora Louise Smart Dodd first brought up the idea of a father’s day in 1909. She wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart. When Sonora’s mother died in childbirth with her sixth child, William was left to raise the newborn and five other children by himself on a farm in Washington state. As an adult, Sonora realized how strong and unselfish her dad had been raising his kids as a single parent.
Sonora wanted Father’s Day to be celebrated on the first Sunday in June, because it was close to her dad’s birthday. Instead, the first Father’s Day celebration took place on June 19, 1910 in Spokane, Washington. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson made the third Sunday of June Father’s Day. It wasn’t until 1972 that President Richard Nixon made Father’s Day a national holiday-about 60 years after Mother’s Day had been made a national holiday.