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Some people might think that Father's Day was established as a holiday to help greeting card companies sell more cards. However, when Father's Day" was first suggested in the early 1900s, Father's Day cards hadn't been invented yet.
The inspiration behind the celebration of Father's Day was actually inspired by Mother's Day. In 1909, Mother's Day was just becoming very popular in the United States. One day, Sonora Dodd, of Spokane, Washington, was listening to a church sermon about setting aside a day to honor one's mother. It gave her the idea to petition for a day to honor fathers, and in particular, her own father - William Jackson Smart.
Mr. Smart had raised Sonora and her five brothers and sisters all by himself after Sonora's mother died in childbirth. As an adult, Sonora realized the selflessness her father had shown in raising his children as a single parent. Her father made all the parental sacrifices. In his daughter's eyes, her father was a courageous, selfless, and loving man.
Mrs. Dodd went to her minister and others about having a church service dedicated to fathers on June 5, her father's birthday. That date was too soon for her minister to prepare a service, so he spoke a few weeks later on June 19th. It took about a year of working with politicians, religious leaders, businessmen and the Spokane YMCA to bring life to her idea of an annual Father's Day, but eventually all her hard work paid off. On June 19, 1910, the first Father's Day was celebrated in Spokane, Washington.
They chose the rose as the official flower of Father's Day. Some people suggested that people should wear a white rose to honor a father who has died, and a red rose for a father who is alive.
At about the same time period in different towns and cities across America, other people were beginning to celebrate a father's day too.
States and organizations began lobbying Congress to declare an annual Father's Day. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson approved of this idea, but it was not until 1924 when President Calvin Coolidge made it a national event to "establish more intimate relations between fathers and their children and to impress upon fathers the full measure of their obligations." In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring that the third Sunday of June, 1966 was Father's Day. And in 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father's Day to be held on the third Sunday in June. Since then, fathers have been honored and recognized by their families throughout the U.S. on the third Sunday in June.
Father's Day has become a day to not only honor your father, but all men who act as a father figure. Stepfathers, uncles, grandfathers, and adult male friends are all be honored on Father's Day. It's also another day for greeting card companies and retailers to celebrate because sales of the most popular gifts for Dad (shirts, ties, and electric razors) increase considerably.