A Brief History of Father's Day

June 11, 2019

   
While Father’s Day is an important time to reflect upon all that our fathers have provided and pay gratitude, the tradition only dates back a little over a hundred years. Legend has it that the very first Father’s Day took place on June 19th, 1910. 
     
An early Father’s Day origin story has its roots in West Virginia. A woman named Grace Golden Clayton was mourning the loss of her father when a mining explosion in a nearby town killed 361 men. She suggested to the minister of her Methodist church that they celebrate fathers on July 5th, 1908. This was successfully implemented but was ultimately overshadowed by Independence Day, and would not be celebrated again for years. 
     
A woman named Sonora Smart Dodd in Washington state was inspired to devote a day for her father while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon at church in 1909. Her father, William Smart, was a Civil War veteran and widower who raised six children by himself on their small farm in Washington. Sonora thought there should be a day to show gratitude to dads like him. She initially decided on June 5th, the anniversary of her father’s death, to be the designated Father’s Day. Bad planning led to actual celebration in Spokane, Washington to take place on the third Sunday in June, the date Father’s Day falls on every year to this day. 
     
We often take our fathers for granted, and let their efforts go unrewarded. They don’t ask for praise or recognition, so let’s show our dads how much we really appreciate all that they’ve given us over the years this Father’s Day. 



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