Father’s Day is celebrated around the world, but that hasn’t always been the case. The very first Father’s Day was celebrated on July 5, 1908 when a West Virginia church held a service to honor 362 men who had died in December of the previous year in an explosion at the Fairmont Coal Company mines.
In 1909, Sonora Smart Dodd, one of six children raised by a widower, began working in her town to get fathers honored in the same way mothers were honored on Mother’s Day. She was successful in her efforts and on July 19, 1910, the first statewide Father’s Day was observed in Washington State. Most men weren’t in favor of “Father’s Day” because they said it wasn’t “manly” to give gifts like cards and flowers to men. The observance of Father’s Day spread over time beyond Washington State and has been observed in one way or another since the early 1900s. Father’s Day became a national holiday in 1972 when President Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day a national holiday. Read more