Marked on the third Sunday of June in the United States (and in many other countries), Father’s Day was first celebrated in 1910 to complement Mother’s Day. The occasion was created by Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, who wanted to honor her father, Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart.
Although Dodd originally suggested celebrating her father’s birthday in early June, she had not provided organizers with enough time to arrange the event, and the celebration was delayed until the third Sunday of the month.
Although Mother’s Day has been an official national holiday since 1914, Father’s Day had a tougher road. Congress refused to make the celebration official in the years immediately following Dodd’s first observance, fearing that the day would become commercialized.
It wasn’t until 1966 that Father’s Day received an official proclamation, thanks to President Lyndon B. Johnson. And six years later, President Richard Nixon signed a law making the day a national holiday.
Happy Father’s Day!