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Father’s Day is a celebration that honors fathers and the paternal influence in society. It is celebrated on the third Sunday in June.

In May of 1909, Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane decided to designate a day for her dad after listening to a Mother’s Day Sermon in church. Dodd’s mother had died in childbirth so she was raised by her father, William Jackson, a Civil War veteran, who had to take care of other five children.

Dodd wanted to celebrate Father’s Day the following year, on June 5th, which was the day of her father’s birthday. She petitioned for the holiday to be recognized in her city but she later realized she needed more time in order to arrange the festivities.

The major of the city pushed the date back by two weeks and finally, the first Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910 as the Spokane Regional Convention and Visitor Bureau states.

The first Father’s Day celebration

The First Father’s Day celebration contemplated young women handling out red roses to their fathers during a church service. Also, large baskets full of roses were passed around and attendees were encouraged to pin on a rose in honor of their fathers. There were two colors: red for the living and white in memory of the deceased.

Official recognition

The Congress took a lot before making the celebration of Father’s Day official. But after the holiday gained popularity, President Calvin Coolidge said he supported it in 1924. He was interested in establishing closer relationships between fathers and their children.

In 1938, the holiday gained more traction thanks to the National Council for the Promotion of Father’s Day, a trade organization that was formed by men’s clothing retailers in New York City. The members decided to take up the cause and help promote it.

Finally, President Lyndon Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation in honors of fathers in 1966. However, it would take a while to turn it into a law. Indeed, it wasn’t until 1972 that President Richard Nixon signed the public law that made it a permanent holiday. This made the celebration official for the third Sunday in June.



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