Jun 16, 200610:26 AMThe Life
Jun 16, 2006 - 10:26 AM... is this Sunday, the 18th.
The driving force behind Father's Day was Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd, inspired by Anna Jarvis' 1908 efforts to establish Mother's Day. Sonora's father, Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, raised his family as a single parent after his wife died while giving birth to their sixth child. Although Sonora initially suggested June 5, the anniversary of her father's death, she did not provide organizers with enough time to make arrangements and the celebration was delayed two weeks. So the first Father's Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, in Spokane, Washington.
Unofficial support was immediate and widespread. In fact, Calvin Coolidge recommended it as a national holiday in 1924, but the all-male Congress felt that passing a measure so favorable to their gender could be seen as a conflict of interest.
In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson issued a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June to be Father's Day, but the holiday was not officially recognized until 1972, when President Richard Nixon signed the law which finally made it permanent.