In 1909, a woman named Sonora Louise Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, thought that holiday similar to a Mother’s Day should be set aside to honor fathers. Her own father, William Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran, raised six children as a single parent. In 1910 she started a campaign outlining the idea for an annual observance, and she received overwhelming support.
The first U.S. President to celebrate Father’s Day was Woodrow Wilson in June of 1916. Then In 1966, Lyndon Johnson issued a proclamation designating the third Sunday in June to honor fathers. Finally, in 1972, President Richard Nixon signed a law declaring that Father’s Day be celebrated annually on the third Sunday in June. It has been an official, permanent national holiday ever since.
Enjoy our collection of books and movies about fathers and their diverse experiences raising children.