In the late 1800’s, a baby girl, Sonora Smart, was born. Unfortunately, her mother died giving birth to her. The usual practice was to send such a child off to relatives who would care for her. But Sonora’s father, William, chose to keep her close to home, raising the little girl along with her five siblings alone on a farm in eastern Washington.
Sonora grew up and married, becoming Sonora Smart Dodd. One day in 1909, she was sitting in church listening to a Mother’s Day sermon. Thinking that her father deserved the same recognition as any mother did, she began an effort to designate a special day for fathers. The first Father’s Day observance was held the following year in Spokane, Washington. She chose the month of June, the month of her father’s birthday.
Within 15 years, this custom had spread across the country. In 1924, Calvin Coolidge issued the first presidential proclamation in support of Father’s Day. President Richard Nixon made it a permanent designation in 1972. The third Sunday in June has become a National Day of Observance in honor of fathers everywhere. One woman’s love for her father has inspired millions to honor their fathers as well.nsfer