Sonora Smart Dodd is one of the legendary women credited with beginning Father’s Day, on June 19, 1910 to honor her father and all that he’d done for her and her siblings. She claimed that while listening to the Mother’s Day sermon in church a year prior, she wondered why there was no official day to honor fathers who did so much for their families.
Her father, William Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran, was a single father to six children in Spokane, Washington, his wife having died while giving birth to their sixth child. He raised them on their farm and after his death, Sonora Smart Dodd petitioned the powers that be to celebrate Father’s Day on June 5, her deceased father’s birthday. However, due to a mix up, the honorary day was arranged for the third Sunday of June, where it still remains today.
Another legend credits Grace Golden Clayton, West Virginia, (1908) of petitioning her church minister to establish a memorial date in memory of all the miners who had perished in a tragic mining fire that killed more than 360 men. From that time forward, many churches, states, and municipalities paid homage to fathers in June.
But despite recommendations by President Calvin Coolidge and later, President Lyndon B. Johnson, (executive order) it wasn’t until 1972, that Father’s Day became a National holiday in the United States of America while President Richard Nixon was in office . Many countries around the world celebrate Father’s Day on the third Sunday in June, but not all.
HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO ALL YOU FATHERS: stepfathers, grandfathers, adopted fathers, foster fathers, and spiritual fathers!