Father’s Day became an official holiday in 1972 when President Nixon signed it into law. President Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation in 1966 when he designated the third Sunday in June Father’s Day.

Father’s Day first came on the scene in 1909 when Sonora Dodd of Spokane, Wash., listened to a Mother’s Day sermon at church and decided she wanted to honor her father. The mayor of Spokane declared June 19, 1910, Father’s Day because Dodd’s father was born in June.

Dodd’s father was a widowed Civil War veteran who raised six children. Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Today the U.S. has an estimated 64.3 million fathers according to the Survey of Income and Program Participation.

Father’s Day falls on June 15 this year. You still have time to let your dad know you care through a card, a gift or a phone call. You don’t have to spend much. The simple act of acknowledging it will mean a lot.

And Ben Stein wrote a great piece in the New York Times on Sunday recognizing how hard fathers work.


June 10, 2008.