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The History of Father's Day:

Dr. Robert Webb held what is believed to have been the first Father's Day celebration at the Central Church of Fairmont, in Fairmont, West Virginia in 1908. Most likely this celebration originated from observations of Mother's Day, which also had its birth in West Virginia.

However, it was the efforts of Sonora Louise Smart Dodd that really led to instituting Father's Day as an official holiday in the United States. Sonora lived in Spokane, Washington, and came up with the idea of Father's Day while listening to a Mother's Day sermon in 1909.

Sonora's father, William Jackson Smart, was a Civil War veteran and had lost his wife as she bore their sixth child. William raised the six children on his own. Sonora felt her father was very loving, courageous, and selfless. Her father's birthday was in June and Sonora chose June 19th, 1909 for the celebration to honor fathers. Many report this as the first Father's Day celebration.

We should also give some credit to Harry C. Meek, the president of the Lions Club of Chicago. He made several speeches expressing the need for a holiday to honor fathers. In 1920, the club presented him with a watch bearing the inscription, "Originator of Father's Day".

In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge showed his support for Father's Day becoming a national holiday. However, Father's Day did not become an official holiday in the United States until many years later. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed the third Sunday in June be Father's Day.

Note: it is a Fatherís Day tradition to wear a red rose if your father is living, and a white rose if he is deceased.

submitted by: Princess Anna

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