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The cynics suggest that Fathers Day was invented by the greeting card companies but in fact Fathers Day dates all the way back to the early twentieth century.

Sonora Dodd, of Washington, is said to be the originator of the idea of the "Father's Day", which came to her mind as she sat listening to a Mother's Day sermon in 1909.

Sonora wanted to dedicate a day as a special one to honor her father, William Smart, who could not be said to have done less than any mother of the world. Smart was a Civil War veteran and lost his wife when she was into labor with their sixth child. As an extremely devoted and loving father, he raised his newborn infant and his other five children single-handedly on a rural farm in eastern Washington State, where they lived.

When Sonora became an adult that she realized how selfless her father had been in the raising of his six children as a single parent. She realized that her father deserved appreciation for his hard work, love and devotion to his children and how he toiled and yet smiled as he attended to the smallest needs of his children so that they never felt the absence of their mother.

Sonora chose the birthday of her father to hold the first Father's Day celebration in Spokane, Washington, which was celebrated on the 19th of June 1910. Dr. Robert Webb is believed to have conducted the first Father's Day service in 1908 at the Central Church of Fairmont, West Virginia. However, it was the colossal efforts of Dodd's efforts that eventually led it to a national observance, when in 1924, President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of a national Father's Day.

Officially, it was in 1966 that finally, President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation that declared the 3rd Sunday of June every year as Father's Day.


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