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Did you know | Father's Day was founded by a woman?

An artist named Sonora Dodd founded Father's Day deeming her 'The Mother of Father's Day."
Credit: AP Images
The Mother of Father's Day

TEXAS, USA — Father's Day is a day to honor fathers and father figures who influence our personal and everyday lives. But did you know the holiday was started by a woman?

An artist, Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, started the holiday to honor her father who was an only parent after the passing of her mother in 1898, according to the City of Spokane.

Dodd's father William Jackson Smart, the inspiration behind the holiday, was an Arkansas native who had fought for the Union during the Civil War.  He was left to raise six children after his wife's death, according to Spokane. 

Sonora has said previously in an interview that her father assumed both Mother and the Father positions after her mothers death. She wanted a holiday that would commemorate all the work her farther and other's like him.

"This role he performed with courage and selflessness until we were all in homes of our own,” she said in the Spokesman-Review in 1964. 

So of course it may have struck a little nerve for her when during a church sermon, ironically about Mother's Day, made Dodd's question her pastor. 

"I liked everything you said about motherhood, but don’t you think father should have a special day, too?," she said. 

Dodd's meant that sentiment and took to the community to gain support for the holiday. She eventually got support from a local YMCA and the Spokane Ministerial Association, according to the City of Spokane.

Eventually, it paid off. On June 19, 1910 the local Protestant churches in Spokane celebrated their inaugural Father's Day.

The holiday started to gain notoriety across the United States, thanks to President Lyndon B. Johnson who started annually proclaiming the third Sunday in June as Father's Day.

It eventually became an official holiday by President Richard M. Nixon in 1972, according to Spokane Washington. 

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