The History of Fathers Day

Interestingly enough, Father’s Day can be credited to the inspiration and work of two separate women.

The first known Father’s Day was celebrated on July 5, 1908.  Grace Golden Clayton, a member of the William Memorial Methodist Episcopal Church in Fairmont, West Virginia proposed the idea after hearing of a mining explosion in nearby Monongah that killed 361 men the previous December.  It was her way of recognizing their sacrifice.

The following year, in 1909, a woman name Sonora Smart Dodd listened to a sermon about Mother’s Day at her church in Spokane, Washington.  After her mother had died in childbirth following the delivery of her sixth child, her father Henry Jackson Smart, a Civil War Veteran, raised the six children alone.  The sermon inspired her to work toward the start of Father’s Day as a way to show her father how much she appreciated the loving, courageous and selfless contributions he made toward their family.  She chose June of the following year for the first celebration because her father had been born in that month. 

In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge recommended Father’s Day become a national holiday.  The tradition quickly caught on and across the U.S., and people began paying homage to fathers and father-figures on that day.

It wasn’t until 1966 that President Lyndon B. Johnson designated the third Sunday in June as the official day to celebrate the event, and in 1972, President Richard Nixon declared Father’s Day a national day of observance. 

So on June 21st, we at Wick-edly Sent will join you in recognizing and paying homage and tribute to the men in our lives who are our fathers or who have acted like fathers in guiding our paths and leading the way.

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