June 19, 1910, marked the first Father’s Day on record. Sonora Dodd from Washington State wanted to have a special day to show appreciation to her father William Smart, who was a Civil War veteran and a widower whose wife died during the childbirth of their sixth child. He raised his six children as a single father. The day was chosen in June, the month of Dodd’s father’s birthday.
Father’s Day was not recognized nationally on a large scale until 1966. President Lyndon Johnson designated the third Sunday of June to be Father’s Day.
However, not until 1972 did Father’s Day become an annual permanent holiday thanks to President Richard Nixon who signed Father’s Day as a public law.
An interesting fact…
- Hallmark recognizes Father’s Day as the 4th holiday for sending cards. 110 million cards are exchanged for Father’s Day. 50% of these cards are given to dads by sons and daughters. 20% are given by wives. And 30% are given by relatives and friends to anyone who is a father.
- Most popular types of Father’s Day cards are “dad from daughter” cards.
- Hallmark produces over 800 card designs for Father’s Day.