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Mrs. John B. Dodd, of Washington, first proposed the idea of a "Father's Day" in 1909. Mrs. Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart. William Smart, a Civil War veteran, was widowed when his wife died in childbirth with their sixth child.

Mr. Smart was left to raise the newborn and the other five children by himself on a rural farm in eastern Washington state. It was after Dodd became an adult when she realized the strength and selflessness her father had shown in raising his children as a single parent.

The first Father's Day was observed on June 19, 1910 in Spokane, Washington. At about the same time in various towns and cities across America other people were beginning to celebrate a "Father's Day."

In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of a national Father's Day. Finally in 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the 3rd Sunday of June as Father's Day.

Father's Day has become a day not only to honor your father, but all men who act as a father figure. Stepfathers, uncles, grandfathers, and male friends are all to be honored on Father's Day.

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My dad helped pick the midis. --Eireann


What Makes A Dad

God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,

The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle's flight,

The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,

Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so, He called it ... Dad.

Author unknown

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This page was last updated June 20, 2004.