The United States is one of the few
countries in the world that has an official day on which fathers are
honored by their children. On the third Sunday in June, fathers all across
the United States are given presents, treated to dinner or otherwise made
to feel special. .
of Father's Day is not clear. Some say that it began with a church service
in West Virginia in 1908. Others say the first Father's Day ceremony was
held in Vancouver, Washington.
of when the first true Father's Day occurred, the strongest promoter of
the holiday was Mrs. Bruce John Dodd of Spokane, Washington. She thought
of the idea for Father's Day while listening to a Mother's Day sermon in
wanted a special day to honor her father, William
Smart. Smart, who was a Civil War veteran, 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 in eastern
Sonora became an adult she realized the selflessness her father had shown
in raising 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. In 1909, Mrs. Dodd approached her
own minister and others in Spokane about having a church service dedicated
to fathers on June 5, her father's birthday. That date was too soon for
her minister to prepare the service, so he spoke a few weeks later on June
19th. From then on, the state of Washington celebrated the third Sunday in
June as Father's Day. Children made special desserts, or visited their
fathers if they lived apart.
early times, wearing flowers was a traditional way of celebrating Father's
Day. Mrs. Dodd favored the red rose to honor a father still living, while
a white flower honored a deceased dad. J.H. Berringer, who also held
Father's Day celebrations in Washington State as early as 1912, chose a
white lilac as the Father's Day
and organizations began lobbying Congress to declare an annual Father's
Day. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson approved of this idea, but it was
not until 1924 when President Calvin Coolidge made it a national event to
"establish more intimate relations between fathers and their children
and to impress upon fathers the full measure of their obligations."
Since then, fathers had been honored and recognized by their families
throughout the country on the third Sunday in June.
In 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation
declaring the 3rd Sunday of June as Father's Day and put the official
stamp on a celebration that was going on for almost half a century.