In 1898, when Sonora Smart was 16 years old, her mother died during the birth of her sixth child. Sonora was the only daughter in the family. She helped her father raise her younger brothers. I’m sure it was a lot of hard work as they ran a farm near Spokane, Washington. Eventually, Sonora married John Dodd.2
In 1909, Sonora Smart Dodd wanted to create a holiday to honor fathers. At the time, 45 states were observing Mother’s Day. Dodd thought that fathers should be honored in a similar way. You see, she had experienced the dedication of her father in caring for his family following her mother’s death. So, Sonora worked to convince churches, store owners and the government to create the holiday. She wanted the holiday to be observed on her father’s birthday. The Spokane churches picked the third Sunday in June instead. Because of her efforts, the State of Washington recognized the first Father’s Day on June 19, 1910. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge encouraged all states to observe the holiday. But it was not until 1972 that President Nixon proclaimed Father’s Day a permanent federal holiday.1
This week the podcast will spend time looking at Fathers. We’ll see the importance of earthly fathers as well as gain appreciation for our heavenly Father. Today, take a moment to join others in honoring your father and the fathers around you.
- “Fathers Day 2021,” History, A&E Television Networks, December 30, 2009, updated July 7, 2020, https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/fathers-day.
- “Sonora Smart Dodd,” Wikipedia, last edited May 2, 2021, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonora_Smart_Dodd.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.