Father’s Day is believed to have been first celebrated on June 19th, 1910 through the efforts of Sonora Smart Dodd. She was a Christian woman, the daughter of American Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart. Her mother died when she was 16 years old. She wanted a day that would commemorate and honor fathers like her own who had raised her and five other children.
Sonora persevered through opposition and eventually a bill was introduced into Congress in 1913. Then in 1916, President Woodrow Wilson spoke at a Father’s Day celebration in Spokane, Washington, wanting to make it an official holiday but Congress resisted.
It wasn’t until 1924 that Calvin Coolidge became involved and in 1930, a national committee was formed by various trade groups in an effort to bring legitimacy to the holiday.
In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson made a proclamation for Father’s Day to be celebrated on the 3rd Sunday of June.
But that’s not the end of the story. Father’s Day was made an official national holiday when President Nixon signed a similar proclamation in 1972.
After this brief synopsis of the history of the holiday, Jim gave Crosstalk listeners time to pay special tribute to their fathers.