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Enjoy Father's Day? Thank the woman who spent 62 years campaigning for it.

Campaigning for Father’s Day

  • At age 16, Sonora Louise Smart Dodd lost her mother, and her father was left to raise Dodd and her five younger brothers alone.
  • In 1909, Dodd was listening to a Mother's Day sermon and realized the need for a day to celebrate fathers. She drew up a petition for the first Father's Day.
  • She gained only two signatures, but in the process convinced several local church communities to participate.
  • The celebration started Dodd's nearly life-long mission of promoting Father's Day for national status.
  • Dodd traveled the United States over the next half-century, campaigning for the cause.
  • Father's Day was finally recognized in 1972 when President Richard Nixon signed the resolution into law.*

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Enjoy Father's Day? Thank the woman who spent 62 years campaigning for it.

Enjoy Father's Day? Thank the woman who spent 62 years campaigning for it.

https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/holidays/reference/fathers-day-campaign-daughter-create-holiday/

nationalgeographic.com

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Key Ideas

Father's day

On the third Sunday in June, Americans take time to honor fathers and their role in the family and community.

Few Americans are aware of the woman who launched a 62-year campaign to establish the day as a federal holiday.

Campaigning for Father’s Day

  • At age 16, Sonora Louise Smart Dodd lost her mother, and her father was left to raise Dodd and her five younger brothers alone.
  • In 1909, Dodd was listening to a Mother's Day sermon and realized the need for a day to celebrate fathers. She drew up a petition for the first Father's Day.
  • She gained only two signatures, but in the process convinced several local church communities to participate.
  • The celebration started Dodd's nearly life-long mission of promoting Father's Day for national status.
  • Dodd traveled the United States over the next half-century, campaigning for the cause.
  • Father's Day was finally recognized in 1972 when President Richard Nixon signed the resolution into law.*

A new appreciation of fatherhood

On the first Father's Day, families honored fathers by wearing red roses for those still alive, and white for those who were deceased. Father's Day sermons were held, and even the city's mayor and state governor issued Father's Day proclamations.
Today Father's Day is often celebrated with food, gatherings, and gifts. The nature of Father's Day has shifted as most fathers are no longer the sole breadwinners and have become more involved in family life.

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