(Washington, D.C.) In 1909, a Spokane woman wanted a way to honor her father for raising her and her siblings after their mother passed away. Little did Sonora Smart Dodd know her idea would eventually lead to a day celebrating our fathers each year.
This week, Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers introduced legislation (H.Res. 539) recognizing Sonora Smart Dodd’s idea to create Father’s Day and the important role fathers play in our lives.
“I thank my dad—and all the other fathers out there for serving as role models and for setting positive examples for all of us,” McMorris Rodgers said. “This resolution is a way to show my appreciation for all fathers and to Sonora Smart Dodd, whose idea to recognize fathers 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.
"All the fathers who have taken the time to be with their children deserve to be honored for the critical role they’re playing,” McMorris Rodgers said. “I think I can speak for mothers everywhere in thanking them.”
After attending a Mother’s Day celebration in 1909, Sonora Smart Dodd decided she wanted a way to honor fathers. Dodd praised her father, a Civil War veteran, who raised six children on his own following the death of his wife. On June 19, 1910, Spokane hosted the first celebration of Father’s Day at the YMCA. Next year, Spokane will celebrate the 100th anniversary of Father’s Day.