Do you know the name Sonora Smart Dodd? Well it is because of her, and Richard Nixon, that us Dad’s get our own holiday, officially called Father’s Day.
It all started in 1908, when the first official Mother’s Day was celebrated; Anna Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia is credited for the holiday. The next year, Sonora Smart Dodd, from Spokane, while attending a church service for Mother’s Day began to petition for a holiday for fathers, but received little support.
Soon others followed with people like famed Settlement House founder and social reformer Jane Addams, who tried to get a Father’s Day holiday going in Chicago. As did Harry C. Meek, a Lions Club member who tried to persuade presidents to go along with it. But despite their efforts, it just wouldn’t catch on.
In the mid 1920’s retailers, which are always looking for a way to get people into their shops, decided to start marketing Father’s Day. The problem was different industries declared Father’s Day on different days. Trade organizations interested in neckties, set the date on June 21st, while tobacco set date as June 14th. The two groups realized that to make the marketing effort work, a compromise needed to be worked out, so a June 21st date was set, but not before the mix-up and the holiday were roundly mocked.
In 1939, retailers of all kinds formed the National Council for the Promotion of Father’s Day, a kind of supergroup aimed at making the holiday more popular. It brought in civic leaders to make the holiday lucrative without making its industry ties too overt.
But Father’s Day was not an official holiday until 1972, when President Richard Nixon made it into the official holiday we have today via presidential proclamation.
Happy Father’s Day from the Corvette Mike Family