Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) released the following statement as Spokane celebrates the 100th anniversary of Father’s Day – a national holiday which was started in Spokane by a local woman, Sonora Smart Dodd, exactly 100 years ago today.
“As a resident of Spokane – and its representative in Congress – I’m very proud of our city’s achievement as the first city to honor its wonderful fathers who – like my own dad – contribute so much to our families and our community.”
Father’s Day was founded in Spokane on June 20, 1910 by Ms. Dodd. After attending a Mother’s Day celebration in 1909, Ms. Dodd wanted to find a way to honor fathers. Ms. Dodd praised her dad, a Civil War veteran, who raised six children on his own after the death of his wife. The next year, Spokane hosted the first celebration of Father’s Day at the YMCA. Ms. Dodd’s idea would eventually lead to an annual day of celebration for all of America’s fathers.
On June 9, 2010, Rep. McMorris Rodgers introduced a Congressional Resolution (H. Con. Res. 285) establishing 2010 as “The Year of the Father” and recognizing the important role that fathers play in the lives of their children and families.
“This resolution is a way to show my appreciation for all fathers,” said Rep. McMorris Rodgers. “Spokane’s tradition of being first community to establish Father’s Day is just one more reason we can be proud of Eastern Washington.”
Research has consistently shown that the presence of a father is one of the most important factors in the health and well-being of a child. As advisors and role models, fathers help their children understand the difference between right and wrong and help them set goals for their future.
The Congresswoman’s Resolution is co-sponsored by Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02), Rep. Doc Hastings (WA-04), Rep. Dave Reichert (WA-08), and Rep. Adam Smith (WA-09).
On June 16, 2010, Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) introduced a companion resolution in the U.S. Senate.
The full text of the resolution is below.
H. Con. Res. 285
In the House of Representatives, U.S.
Recognizing the important role that fathers play in the lives of their children and families and establishing 2010 as The Year of the Father
Whereas, Father’s Day was founded in 1910 by Mrs. John B. Dodd after attending a Mother’s Day celebration in1909 and believing that fathers should receive the same recognition
Whereas Mrs. John B. Dodd, Sonora Smart Dodd, founded the day in celebration of her father, William Smart;
Whereas William Smart, a Civil War veteran, raised six children on his own after the death of his wife;
Whereas Spokane, Washington recognized and hosted the first celebration of Father’s Day on June 19, 1910
Whereas in 1924, President Calvin Coolidge recognized Father’s Day and urged states to follow suit;
Whereas in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a proclamation calling for the third Sunday in June to be recognized as Father’s Day and requested that flags be flown that day on all government buildings;
Whereas President Richard Nixon signed a proclamation in 1972 permanently observing Father’s Day on the third Sunday in June;
Whereas Father’s Day is celebrated in over 50 countries around the world;
Whereas there are an estimated 64.3 million fathers around the nation today;
Whereas it is well documented that children involved with loving fathers are significantly more likely to have healthy self-esteems, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior, avoid high risk behaviors, reduce anti-social behavior and delinquency in boys, have better peer relationships, and have higher occupational mobility relative to parents;
Whereas fathers who live with their children are likely to have a close, enduring relationship with their children than those who do not;
Whereas the 100th anniversary of Father’s Day will be celebrated in Spokane, Washington on June 20, 2010;
Be it resolved that Congress recognizes the important role that fathers play in the lives of their children and families and establishes The Year of the Father.