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The History of Fathers Day

On the third Sunday in June, every year, Fathers Day comes along. Everyone knows that this day is the day to celebrate their fathers or the father figures that they have had in their lives. However, not many people know how this day came to be a Federal holiday. One woman named Sonora Louise Smart Dodd launched a 62-year campaign in order to make Fathers Day a Federal holiday to honor her father.

When Dodd reached the age of 16, her mother died and her father was left alone to raise Dodd and her five younger brothers. One day, as she was listening to a Mother’s Day sermon, Dodd realized that there needed to be a day to celebrate fathers, especially the ones like her own. She decided to start a petition for Father’s Day to be celebrated on her father’s birthday in June. She only earned two signatures for the petition, however, she convinced local church communities to participate. Dodd’s nearly life-long mission kicked off in Spokane, Washington with a celebration. Dodd would then dedicate the next half-century of her life to traveling the United States and speaking and campaigning on behalf of Father’s Day.

In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge proclaimed the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day, however, it wasn’t recognized nationally until 1956 with a joint resolution of Congress.

Then in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring that the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day, but it wasn’t until 1972 when President Richard Nixon established a permanent National observance of Father’s Day in June.

Roses were worn on that first Father’s Day in Spokane. Fathers would be honored by their families wearing roses - red for the fathers still alive, and white for the fathers that had passed away. Today Father’s Day is a little different.

Today we celebrate Father’s Day in our own way that is special for each father. Some celebrate with food and gifts, others take trips, and some celebrate by just gathering and enjoying each other's company, and thanking their fathers for the influence that they have had in their lives.

It is important to celebrate Father’s Day because being a father is no easy task, yet they still choose to see us through our bad days and watch us accomplish everything we’ve dreamed.

Breckenridge American


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