Honoring Fathers on Their Day

Father’s Day began in Spokane, Washington, on June 19, 1910, the idea of Sonora Smart Dodd. After hearing a sermon about Mother’s Day, celebrated first in 1908, she wanted to honor her Dad – William Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran who as a single parent reared six children – and suggested his birthday month of June for Father’s Day. But observances were unofficial compared to Mother’s Day, which quickly became established in 1914 as a national holiday, celebrated on the second Sun-day of May.


There was for decades little success in the official recognition of Father’s Day, although the 1930s brought awareness to the idea on a national level. Tobacco pipe companies and clothiers (especially for neckties) staunchly supported a national holiday. In 1957, Sen. Margaret Chase Smith gave an im-passioned plea to honor fathers as parents, but to no avail. It was not until 1972 that President Richard Nixon made Father’s Day official as a celebration to be held on the third Sunday of June.


Although Father’s Day lagged behind Mother’s Day in national recognition, it is now ingrained in American culture to remember our dads who have done so much for us. Hometown News honors fa-thers on their special day this month, which this year is celebrated on June 15.


– Dr. Paul Hudson

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