In addition to the third week in June being the official first day of summer, countries from around the world also celebrate Father’s Day this month. The history of Father’s Day began in 1910 when a woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd came up with the idea of honoring and celebrating her father while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon at church in 1909. Sonora felt that father’s equally deserved a day of praise just as Mother’s do. Sonora’s Dad, William Smart, was a veteran of the Civil War, who was left a widower when his wife died while giving birth to their sixth child when Sonora was just 16 years old. William Smart went on to raise the six children by himself on their small farm in Washington. Sonora wanted to show her appreciation for all the hard work and love that her Dad gave to her and her siblings.
Sonora began a rigorous campaign to celebrate Father’s Day in the United States. The local Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) supported Sonora’s cause. As a result, the first June Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910.
After a protracted struggle of over four decades, Lyndon B. Johnson, through an executive order, designated the third Sunday in June as the official day to celebrate Father’s Day in 1966. The Nixon Administration officially recognized Father’s Day as a national holiday in 1972. Sonora Smart Dodd was honored for her contribution at the World’s Fair in Spokane in 1974. Mrs. Dodd died in 1978 at the age of 96.
So as Father’s Day approaches, take the time to thank dads, grandfather’s, uncles, stepfathers or any other person who commands the position of a father in your life. Write your Father a note showing your appreciation, take him to lunch, cut his grass, or just give him a hug this Father’s Day! Your Dad deserves it!