Fathers Day

April 2, 2021

Happy Father’s Day

A beloved single dad inspired it.

A president made it official.


  • William Jackson Smart: Civil War vet. His wife died in childbirth & he raised 6 children alone.
  • His daughter Sonora felt inspired to honor him after listening to a Mother’s Day sermon (1909) and rallied local support.
  • First Father’s Day: Spokane, WA, June 19, 1910. The date was inspired by William’s birthday on June 5th.

Interesting To Note

  • While Mother’s Day became official in 1914, Father’s Day did not become *official* until 1972.
  • That said, Father’s Day was observed in various ways around the country in the decades in between.
  • Pres. Johnson proclaimed the 3rd Sunday in June Father’s Day.
  • Pres. Nixon signed legislation making Father’s Day a national holiday in 1972.

Flowers For Fathers?

Original Fathers Day Gift

  • 1910, children gifted red roses to living fathers; white roses honored deceased.
  • Americans expect to spend $148 on average on Father’s Day – an increase of about $10 dollars from last year’s record number despite the pandemic. Americans were expected to spend $205 for Mother’s Day.

“To have a father – to be a father – is to come very near the heart of life itself.” Pres. Richard Nixon, 1972, in his proclamation making Father’s Day a permanent national holiday. Sonora Dodd who had lobbied for the day since 1910 was alive to see it happen. She passed away in 1978. Read Pres. Nixon’s by clicking on the source page.

Father’s Day Proclamation: CLICK HERE

by Jenna Lee,