Today is Father’s Own
By Dick Perue
Father Also Has
A Day That Is
Set Aside For Him
Don’t Forget Dad
Let This Father’s Day
Day of Showing
Appreciation For Him
Thus reads an article on the front page of The Cheyenne Citizen dated Sunday, June 15, 1930. The mast head notes, “The Paper that Reaches Every Citizen in Cheyenne and Fort Warren.”
Roughened hands, a stooped, toilworn figure – rundown heels and a shabby coat with frayed cuffs – days in the heating sun or the blighting cold – long hours of overtime when the irresponsible might gather and make merry – all of these things and much more must have been in the mind of the founder of Father’s Day.
Daily these unsung heroes by the thousands, too often poorly fed and poorly clad, leave for the offices, banks, stores, mines and factories of this country to return in the evening to homes, often cheerless and ill-kept.
But finally, someone with vision saw with appreciation the things a Father has been doing. And so, this second Sunday in June was set aside as a day to do honor to Father for all he has sacrificed for mother and the children.
It is characteristic of the sentiment long given credence in America that Mother’s Day was established before it occurred to anyone Father must have his day too.
But as time goes on, Father’s Day is observed more and more, and finally it will take its place in the calendar where it should, and Father will be honored and acclaimed on the second Sunday in June as Mother is on the second Sunday in May.
Research shows several accounts of the origin of Father’s Day. Here’s one.
In reality, Father’s Day would not have reached the status it has today without the efforts of one woman, Sonora Smart Dodd. One of the reasons Dodd was so passionate about the holiday was she and her siblings were raised by a single father, William Jackson Smart.
Dodd was inspired to start a holiday for fathers after hearing a sermon at her church about Anna Jarvis’s effort to establish Mother’s Day.
After the sermon, Dodd approached her pastor and said she believed fathers deserved their own day of celebration. Her original idea was the holiday be held on June 5, her father’s birthday.
Instead, to provide more time to prepare sermons for the holiday, Dodd proposed the Father’s Day event be held on June 19, 1910, the third Sunday of the month.
Dodd continued holding these celebrations in Spokane, Wash., for many years until she left to study art in Chicago. She resumed celebrations when she returned to Spokane in the 1930s.
Based on Dodd’s efforts, several politicians attempted to formalize the holiday with little success. U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson designated the celebration of Father’s Day with a presidential proclamation, and Father’s Day was made a national holiday in 1972 by President Richard M. Nixon.