The institution of Father’s day is credited to a woman by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd. She wanted a special day to honor her father, Henry Jackson Smart.
Her father was widowed when his wife died during the birth of their sixth child. Mr. Smart was left to raise the newborn and his other five children by himself on a rural farm in eastern Washington State.
As an adult, Sonora realized the sacrifice her father had shown in raising his children as a single parent. In the eyes of this daughter, he was a courageous, selfless, and loving man.
• In 1910, Sonora Smart Dodd started writing letters in support of a national Father’s Day observance.
• In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson proposed that Father’s Day be proclaimed as a national day of observance.
• In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge endorsed the same idea.
• In 1926, a National Father’s Day Committee was formed in New York City.
• In 1956, Father’s Day was recognized by a Joint Resolution of Congress.
• In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day.
• In 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father’s Day to be held on the third Sunday of June.