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The Secret History of Father’s Day

The first Father’s Day celebration was held on June 19, 1910 in Spokane, Washington. But did you know that Father’s Day didn’t become a national holiday until 1972? The idea of celebrating Father’s Day came about shortly after the induction of Mother’s Day as a commercial holiday in 1908 (Mother’s Day didn’t actually become a national holiday until President Woodrow Wilson legislated it in 1914). In 1909, Spokane, Washington resident Sonora Smart Dodd tried to establish an equivalent to Mother’s Day for male parents. After generating sufficient grassroots support among local clergy, the YMCA, shopkeepers, and government officials, Dodd’s resolution came to pass – and on July 19, 1910, Spokane became the seat of the first statewide Father’s Day celebration. Other states caught on, and by 1916 President Wilson was honoring the day with an elaborate flag ceremony. Still, no proclamation had been made to observe Father’s Day as a…

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