The idea of Father’s Day was conceived slightly more than a century ago by Sonora Dodd of Spokane, Wash., while she listened to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909. Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart, a widowed Civil War veteran who was left to raise his six children on a farm.
A day in June was chosen for the first Father’s Day celebration June 17, 1910, proclaimed by Spokane’s mayor because it was the month of Smart’s birth.
The first presidential proclamation honoring fathers was issued in 1966 when President Lyndon Johnson designated the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day.
Father’s Day has been celebrated annually since 1972 when President Richard Nixon signed the public law that made it permanent.
“A father is always making his baby into a little woman. And when she is a woman he turns her back again.” — Enid Bagnold
“It is a wise father that knows his own child.” — William Shakespeare
“It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.” — Anne Sexton
“One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters.” — English Proverb
“To be a successful father . . . there’s one absolute rule: when you have a kid, don’t look at it for the first two years.” — Ernest Hemingway
“I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.” — Sigmund Freud
“If the new American father feels bewildered and even defeated, let him take comfort from the fact that whatever he does in any fathering situation has a fifty percent chance of being right.” — Bill Cosby
“Blessed indeed is the man who hears many gentle voices call him father!” — Lydia M. Child
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