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Father’s Day

  • Posted by: Alice Bampton
  • Posted Date: June 18, 2017
  • Filed Under: Library News

happy father's day resize

Father’s Day is celebrated each year on the third Sunday of June. It received national recognition by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1966 when he declared that June 19 was Father’s Day. Six years later, President Richard M. Nixon declared Father’s Day a national holiday to be observed on the third Sunday in June.

Sonora Louise Smart Dodd (1882-1978) is credited with making Father’s Day a holiday. The daughter of a farmer and Civil War veteran, her mother died in childbirth when Smart was 16. She then helped her father, William Jackson Smart, raise her five younger brothers.

After hearing a sermon about Mother’s Day, she began trying to establish Father’s Day by contacting the Spokane [Washington] Ministerial Association and the Young Men’s Christian Association. This led to the celebration in Spokane of the first Father’s Day on June 19, 1910. The celebration of Father’s Day gradually spread although in some countries where there is a very strong Catholic presence it is celebrated on St. Joseph’s Day (March 19).

Gerald Dierkes, an Access Services specialist, wrote an interesting article about unforgettable literary fathers; it is accessible here.

Father’s Day image from pixabay.com.


We are committed to accuracy and will make appropriate corrections. We apologize for any errors and always welcome input about news coverage that warrants correction. Messages can be e-mailed to alice.bampton@villanova.edu or call (610)519-6997.

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Last Modified: June 18, 2017