Father’s Day

Although Mother’s Day was first declared a national holiday in the United States in 1914, Father’s Day did not gain such stature until 1972. In 1908, a church in West Virginia sponsored our country’s first event to honor fathers. That Sunday’s sermon was in memory of the 300-plus men who had perished in the 1907 explosions that rocked a local coal mine.

Thanks to Sonora Smart Dodd, a Washington woman who was raised with her five sibling-by their widowed father, worked hard for a day to recognize fathers. Her work was successful, and Washington State recognized June 19, 1910, as Father’s Day.

Over the following decades, there were pushes for and against Father’s Day, some seeing it as a commercial gimmick, as it was often the fathers who ended up paying for their own gifts. Others pushing it as a way to recognize and honor our troops.

Flash forward to 1972. By this time Father’s Day was an institution in the United States. President Richard Nixon sealed the deal by declaring the third Sunday of June to be officially recognized as a national holiday.

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