How Did Father's Day Begin?
As with many holidays, stories vary as to the origin of Father's Day. According to Brittanica.com,
"Credit for originating the holiday is generally given to Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, whose father, a Civil War veteran, raised her and her five siblings after their mother died in childbirth. She is said to have had the idea in 1909 while listening to a sermon on Mother’s Day, which at the time was becoming established as a holiday. Local religious leaders supported the idea, and the first Father’s Day was celebrated on June 19, 1910, the month of the birthday of Dodd’s father. In 1924 U.S. Pres. Calvin Coolidge gave his support to the observance, and in 1966 Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson issued a proclamation that recognized the day. It became a national holiday in 1972, when Pres. Richard Nixon signed legislation designating the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day."
However, other sources say Father's Day started in 1908 in West Virginia (my home state!), which, incidentally, some sources say is also where Anna Jarvis founded Mother's Day, also in 1908. West Virginian Grace Golden Clayton is said to have proposed a service to honor all fathers after a deadly mining accident in the state killed hundreds of men that year.
Regardless of its origins, Father's Day is here to stay as a major national holiday.