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History of Father's Day

In 1909 while listening to a Mother's Day sermon, Sonora Dodd,  of Washington had the idea of a "father's day". She wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart, who was widowed when his wife died while giving birth to their sixth child. Mr Smart was left to raise the newborn and his other five children by himself on a rural farm. As an adult Sonora realized the seflessness her father had shown in reaising his children as a single parent. It was her father that made all the parental sacrifices and was, in the eyes of his daughter, a courageous, selfless, and loving man.

 

 Sonora's father was born in June, so she chose to hold the first Father's Day celebration in Spokane, Washington on the 19th of June, 1910. She initially suggested June 5, the anniversary of her father's death, but there was not enough time to make arrangements, and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday in June.  Support was immediate and widespread. Calvin Coolidge recommended it as a national holiday in 1924. But the all-male U>S> Congress, however, was mindful that passing a measure so favorable to males could be seen as a conflict of interest. The National Father's Day Committee was formed in New York City in 1926. In 1966, Lyndon Johnson made Father's Day a holiday to be celebrated on the third Sunday of June. President Richard Nixon signed the law which finally made it permanent in 1972.

Thus, Father's Day was born in memory and appreciation by a daughter who believed that her father and all other fathers should be honored with a special day.


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