It all began in Spokane, Washington in 1909.
Sonora Smart Dodd (who was raised by her Father) heard a Mother’s Day sermon at Central Methodist Episcopal Church. Dodd’s mother died 11 years earlier. She proposed the idea to honor her father, and all fathers everywhere, with a special day as well, to local religious leaders. By 1910, Father’s Day, had become widespread and on June 19 fathers were honored in sermons throughout the city. The popularity of Father’s Day spread, when newspapers across the country carried the story. Richard Nixon established it as the third Sunday in June in 1972.
Dodd’s pivotal role in the creation of a national Father’s Day celebration was recognized in 1943 with a luncheon in her honor in New York City.
But the year Spokane was observing its first Father’s Day, almost 2,000 miles away in Fairmont, W.Va., another Methodist church was on its third...