Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hail 100th Father’s Day In America

A story about the history of Fathers Day in the Queens Gazette (that's Queens NY, my childhood turf)

This coming Sunday, June 20 is the 100th anniversary of the establishing of Father’s Day in the United States of America. Sonora Smart Dodd, the daughter of a Civil War veteran whose wife died in childbirth, leaving him to raise six children single handedly, honored her parent on June 19, 1910, when at her urging the first Father’s Day celebration was held in Spokane, Washington.
Unlike many other men who found themselves widowed with children on their hands, William Jackson Smart chose not to remarry. Instead, Smart, in the eyes of his daughter, a courageous, selfless, and loving man, made all the sacrifices expected of a loving, concerned parent, putting the children he sired ahead of his own needs and wishes to ensure that they grew up to be responsible, productive adults. Smart was born in June, so Dodd chose to hold Father’s Day observances during that month.
The Father’s Day concept caught on quickly. Six years after the first Father’s Day, in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson was feted by his family to celebrate Father’s Day. The holiday continued to find friends among elected officials: in 1924 President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of a national Father’s Day. Then in 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day. President Richard Nixon signed the law that finally made it permanent in 1972

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Hail 100th Father’s Day In America


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