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June 8, 2004 > Father's Day

Father's Day

by Jeremy Inman

On the third Sunday of June, people all over the country buy gifts and cards in honor of their fathers. Father's Day celebrates the value and importance of biological fathers, father figures, mentors and male influences that have a profound effect, guiding and shaping the lives of others. A common misconception is that Father's Day is just a holiday conjured to sell cards and other merchandise. The truth is actually much different. The holiday actually began with the efforts and deep sentiments of one determined woman.

Father's Day became an official American holiday June, 1966, when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring every third Sunday of June as a national holiday. Before then, Father's Day was loosely celebrated all over the country for almost half a century. The first idea for a "Father's Day" can be traced back to the State of Washington in1909. Sonora Dodd felt the need to initiate a special day in honor of her father, William Smart. Smart, a Civil War veteran was left to raise his large family on a farm in Spokane when his wife died in childbirth. In honor of her father's strength, and sacrifice, Sonora began to promote a day in honor of all fathers. The idea took root and in June 1910, the first widespread Father's Day was celebrated. Today, Father's Day is celebrated throughout the United States and in several countries around the world, including Canada, the UK, and Australia.

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