When Did Father’s Day Start

109 years ago Sonora Smart Dodd believed father's should have a day of recognition just like mothers

Because today is Father’s Day, makes you wonder how it started.

June 19th 1910 a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd held a celebration in Spokane, Washington to honour her father, a civil war veteran, who a single parent who raised his six children.

Sonora believed fathers should have a day of recognition just like mothers.

After an initial suggestion of June 5th for Fathers Day, the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday in June.

Father’s Day History (USA)

  • 1913 A bill to accord national recognition of the holiday was introduced in Congress
  • 1916 President Woodrow Wilson went to Spokane in to speak at a Father’s Day celebration and he wanted to make it an officially recognized federal holiday, but Congress resisted, fearing that it would become commercialized
  • 1924 President Calvin Coolidge recommended the day be observed throughout the entire nation, but he stopped short at issuing a national proclamation
  • 1957 Maine senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote a Father’s Day proposal accusing Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers, thus singling out just one of our two parents
  • 1966 President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day
  • 1972 Father’s Day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law

In Canada, Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June and is not a public holiday