Father’s Day Centennial: June 20, 2010

Written by Rochelle Krueger, Lecturer/User Services Librarian

The idea of Father’s Day was conceived slightly more than a century ago by Sonora Dodd of Spokane, Washington, while she listened to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909. Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart, a widowed Civil War veteran who was left to raise his six children on a farm. A day in June was chosen for the first Father’s Day celebration — 100 years ago, June 19, 1910, proclaimed by Spokane’s mayor because it was the month of Smart’s birth.

The first presidential proclamation honoring fathers was issued in 1966 when President Lyndon Johnson designated the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day.

Father’s Day has been celebrated annually since 1972 when President Richard Nixon signed the public law that made it permanent.

There are an estimated 67.8 million fathers across the United States.

Please take the time to browse the collections at the Calvin T. Ryan Library. Some items available include:

Dads Make a Difference, DVD 581
Daddy, Papa, and Me, by Leslea Newman, +PZ 7 .N47 Mo 2009
Fatherhood, by Bill Cosby, HQ 756 .C67 1986
My Daddy Takes Care of Me: Fathers as Care Providers, by Lynne M. Casper, Gov Doc C 3.186:P-70/2/59

Source:  http://www.census.gov/newsroom/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/cb10-ff11.html