How did Father’s Day become a holiday

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The history of Father’s Day goes back to 1908 when a church in West Virginia held a sermon to honor 362 men who were killed the previous year in a coal mining explosion. This was the country's first ever to strictly honor fathers, but it was just one- and- done thing, at least in that community.

The following year, a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd started her request to establish Father’s Day as a national holiday. Dodd was one of six children by her single father and thought fathers should be honored in the same way as mothers.

Sonora Smart Dodd and her father.

After a year of petitioning her local community and government, Dodd’s home state of Washington celebrated its first official Father’s Day on June 19, 1910. Over the year, Father’s Day was spread from state to state, and after a long fight, it was finally declared a national holiday in 1972 when president Nixon signed the proclamation making Father’s Day a holiday, it was already a national institution.


Father’s Day is celebrated on different days in different countries. For example, in Europe, the United States, and the majority of other countries, the holiday is celebrated on the third Sunday of June. In many Catholic countries, especially in Latin America, the father is celebrated on St. Joseph’s Day, which falls on March 19. In many Pacific countries, including Australia, New Zealand, and Fiji, Father’s Day occurs on the first Sunday in September.

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