Father’s Day: Sunday June 21. How did the tradition begin?

Father’s Day History

Father s Day is Sunday, June 21. Have you ever wondered how the day to honor Dads started?


In 1909, Mrs. John B. Dodd, of Spokane Washington, first proposed the idea of a “father’s day” when she wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart. Mr. Smart was a Civil War veteran, who was widowed when his wife died in childbirth with their sixth child. Despite obvious hardships, he proceeded to raise all his children alone on a rural farm in eastern Washington.

The first Father’s Day was observed on June 19, 1910 in Spokane Washington. At about the same time in various towns and cities across American other people were beginning to celebrate a “father’s day.” In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge expressed his support of the idea of a national Father’s Day.

The white or red rose is the official flower for Father’s Day. Mrs. Dodd suggested that people wear a white rose to honor a father who was deceased and a red rose for a father who was living.

In 1956, Father’s Day was officially recognized in the US by a Joint Resolution of Congress. A decade later, President, Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the 3rd Sunday of June as Father’s Day and in 1972, President Richard Nixon finally established a permanent national observance of Father’s Day in the US to be held on the third Sunday of June.


Mrs. John B. Dodd


from Phoenix Flower Shops

4 Responses

  1. Very interesting article.

    But it raises another question in my mind. Here we have Father’s Day and we also celebrate Mother’s Day. Don’t you think we should have a Children’s Day?

    I don’t think that’s such an outlandish idea given that there are other countries that celebrate Children’s Day as a national holiday.


    • Apparently there is a Children’s Day in the US. This is from Wikipedia:

      United States of America
      Children’s Day observations in the United States predate both Mother’s and Father’s Day.

      The celebration of a special Children’s Day in America dates from the 1860s and earlier.

      Read more

      Thanks for the response.

      • You’re right – thanks for looking this up!

        But you know it leaves you kinda wondering…no national holiday on Children’s Day? Especially since it’s in honor of…children?

        I don’t know about you, but that’s like a birthday with no cake…or worse, no gifts.

        Maybe we do have “holiday fun” on Children’s Day, but it’s celebrated at another time…like on Christmas or something.

        Or maybe I’m just over-analyzing like I usually do.

        By the way, since Wikipedia didn’t have any information on when Children’s Day was for 2009, I found the official site for National Children’s Day and according to them, for 2009, Children’s Day is…(wait for it) THIS SUNDAY 6/14/09!!!

        But apparently, even the official site for Children’s Day doesn’t even seem to know that there’s a national Children’s Day in the United States.

        Quote from their homepage, “Americans recognize Mother’s Day, Father’s Day… so why not a national Children’s Day?”

        Maybe we should point them over to Wikipedia? ; )


      • Thanks, prontolessons.

        Perhaps the president needs to make the proclamation since all the other presidents have done so. I wonder if President Obama is too busy with all the bailouts and carbon taxes and all to have realized that this important day is coming up.

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