The origins of Father’s Day evolved from the celebration of Mother’s Day which has been observed since the early 1900s. Popular tradition credits Sonora Smart Dodd for coming up with the idea of Father’s Day. While listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1901, she was inspired to have a special day dedicated to her father, William Jackson Smart, who had raised her and her five siblings single-handedly after their mother died in childbirth. The first Father’s Day celebration was held on June 19, 1910, on the birthday of her father. In 1972, President Richard Nixon declared the third Sunday of June as a permanent national observance of Father’s Day to honor all fathers. This day could also be a day to celebrate our desire for peace and good will among all peoples and nations. God bless all of our fathers, grandfathers, and other significant males in our lives and grant us world peace.
By Joyce Iten, OSB