No, our Father’s Day holiday was not invented by Hallmark cards. The special dad’s day holiday should probably be credited to Mrs. John B. Dodd, of Washington state, who first suggested the idea of the holiday in 1909.
Mrs. Dodd’s father, Civil War veteran William Smart, was widowed when his wife died in childbirth with their sixth child. Despite the obvious hardships, Mr. Smart raised the newborn, along with his five other children by himself.
It wasn’t until Sonora Dodd became an adult that she realized the strength and selflessness her father had shown in raising his children as a single parent. The original date chosen for the holiday was Mr. Smart’s birthday, June 5. However, that first celebration was postponed until June 19, the third Sunday in June, because there was not enough time to prepare.
At about the same time, in various towns and cities across America, other people were beginning to celebrate a Father’s Day. Some accounts credit Mrs. Charles Clayton of West Virginia as the founder of Father’s Day, although most histories give credit to Mrs. Dodd.
In early times, wearing flowers was a traditional way of celebrating Father’s Day. Mrs. Dodd favored the red rose to honor a father still living, while a white flower honored a deceased dad.
In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of a national father’s day, but it did not become official until 1966 when President Lyndon Johnson signed the presidential proclamation that set aside the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day.
Send in recipes
I’m collecting recipes for the next Farm and Dairy cookbook coming in 2008. Our current cookbook, Made from Back o’ the Box, went so well we’re planning more of the same. I clip many recipes from food packages and I’m hoping you do, too. Share them with us for the new book.
Thanks for your help!