Sunday, June 21, 2009

Today is the 100th Father's Day

Any third grader here in Spokane, Washington can tell you that Sonora Louise Smart Dodd, a Spokanite, started Father's Day to honor her father, a widower and a Civil War veteran, who single-handedly raised her and her five siblings after his wife's death. Mrs. Dodd got the idea to honor fathers with a day of their own when she heard a Mother's Day sermon being preached. The first Father's Day was celebrated on June 19th, 1910 here in my hometown. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson visited Spokane to speak at Father's Day services (no doubt he stayed at the world-famous Davenport Hotel, where the Washington State Genealogical Society's state conference will be held September 11-13 this year!).

Our local paper, the Spokesman-Review, has an article about a small celebration that took place yesterday to commemorate the 100th Father's Day. It includes a photograph of Mrs. Dodd's grave at Greenwood Memorial Terrace (I'll have to photograph it myself this summer for my Eastern Washington Graveyard Rabbit blog). Next year, a large celebration will be held to celebrate the centennial of the holiday. The Spokesman-Review also has a fun little quiz, which you can take here, to test your knowledge of Father's Day!

You can also read my post of June 14, 2007 regarding Father's Day for the 26th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy here.


Unknown said...

Sorry I missed this yesterday -- I spent the day with my father-in-law.

My wife wore a red rose and I'd have displayed a white one, but we couldn't find one quickly.

To my recollection, it was Pres. Coolidge that made Father's Day official. But wasn't it President Nixon who established it as a Federal Holiday?

Happy Dae·

Miriam Robbins said...

Hi, Dae,

Here's what Wikipedia says:

"A bill was introduced in 1913,US President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea in 1924, and a national committee was formed in the 1930s by trade groups in order to legitimize the holiday. It was made a federal holiday when President Lyndon Johnson issued a proclamation in 1966."

Thanks for dropping by!