It’s the third Sunday in June and it’s Father’s Day in the United States of America. According to historians, Father’s Day was founded in Spokane, Washington at the YMCA in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd. Her father, the Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who raised six children.
After hearing a sermon about Anna Jarvis’s Mother’s Day at Central Methodist Episcopal Church in 1909, Sonora told her pastor that fathers should have a similar holiday honoring them. Although she initially suggested June 5, her father’s birthday, the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday of June.
In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson went to Spokane to speak in a Father’s Day celebration and wanted to make it official.
But it would take another fifty years before President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day.
Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.
The more than 100-year-old tradition honors fathers and celebrates fatherhood, paternal bonds, and the influence of fathers in society.