Sunday, June 20, 2021: Father’s Day
Like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day has a modern origin. The idea came to Mrs. John Dodd as she sat listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909. Her father, William Smart, had raised his children alone on his Washington farm after his wife died giving birth to their sixth child. Mrs. Dodd proposed to the Spokane Ministerial Association and the YMCA that they celebrate a “father’s day” on June 5, her father’s birthday. The idea received strong support, but the good ministers of Spokane asked that the day be changed to give them extra time to prepare sermons on the unexplored subject of fathers. The first Father’s Day was observed on June 19, 1910, in Spokane, Washington, and soon other towns had their own celebrations. In spite of widespread support, Father’s Day did not become a permanent national holiday until 1972, when President Richard Nixon signed a law declaring that it be celebrated annually on the third Sunday in June.