Bears Repeating: Southeast Local Schools' Community Newsletter: Summer 2002
Keywords: father, honor
Mrs. John B Dodd, of Washington, first proposed the idea of "father's day" in 1909. Mrs. Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart. William Smart, a Civil War veteran, was widowed when his wife (Mrs. Dodd's mother) died in childbirth with their sixth child. Mr. Smart was left to raise the newborn and his five children by himself on a rural farm in eastern Washington state. It was after Mrs. Dodd became an adult that she realized the strength and selflessness her father had shown in raising his children as a single parent. 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 America other people began to celebrate a "father's day." In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of a national Father's Day. Finally in 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father's Day.