(Washington, D.C.) This Sunday, as we celebrate Father’s Day, families across Eastern Washington and across the nation will recognize the role fathers play in our lives. But the yearly honor wouldn’t have been possible without a family from Spokane.
Father’s Day was founded in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd, of Spokane. She founded the day in honor of her father, William Smart. William was a Civil War veteran who raised six children on his own after the death of his wife. On June 19, 1910, Spokane hosted the first celebration of Father’s Day.
This week, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers sponsored legislation that recognizes the role fathers play in our lives and the role Sonora Smart Dodd played in creating Father’s Day. The resolution (H. Res. 1274) also recognizes the city of Spokane for hosting the first Father’s Day. In two years the city will host a 100th anniversary Father’s Day celebration.
“It’s a small token of appreciation for the work fathers have done to make our families, communities and country the best in the world,” McMorris Rodgers said. “I thank my father for instilling in me the values of commitment to family, hard work and personal responsibility.”
Gerry and Beverlee Numbers, longtime residents of Spokane’s East Central neighborhood, own in the Dodd household. They hope to have it restored in time for the 100th anniversary Father’s Day celebration. “She was not only the founder of Father’s Day, but involved with nearly all of the civic organizations in Spokane,” Gerry Numbers said. “She was an outstanding artist and poet. Our goal is to just bring the recognition to her for what she brought to the city of Spokane.”
To watch a video the Congresswoman, her husband Brian and son Cole recorded commemorating Father’s Day, click here.