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How the 'Mother' of Father's Day Worked Tirelessly to Celebrate the World's Dads

The modern-day origins of Father's Day can be traced back to the relentless efforts of a woman more than 100 years ago in the United States.

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Updated:June 16, 2019, 7:20 AM IST
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How the 'Mother' of Father's Day Worked Tirelessly to Celebrate the World's Dads
Sonora Smart Dodd.
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Father's Day 2019 | Father’s Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June every year in the United States and several other countries including India to honor the dads. Although the day is celebrated in Europe on March 19 (Saint Joseph's Day) since the Middle Ages, its modern-day origins can be traced back to the relentless efforts of a woman more than 100 years ago in the United States.

In 1909, Sonora Smart Dodd was listening to a sermon about Mother’s Day at a church in Washington, when she began wondering why dads didn’t have a special day dedicated to them. She worked “tirelessly with the local clergy and got the YWCA (Young Women Christian Association) on board, and they had their first Father’s Day in Spokane in 1910,” her granddaughter Betsy Roddy told the Associated Press in 2017.

After decades of campaigning for an officially-recognized Father’s Day in the United States, Sonora’s efforts finally paid off after President Lyndon B. Johnson, in 1966, issued the first presidential proclamation designating the third Sunday of June as Father's Day. Father’s Day became a permanent federal holiday in the United States when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.

Although Father's Day is not an official holiday in India, its observance has picked up over the years in the country’s bigger cities like Chennai, Mumbai, New Delhi, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Pune and others with children giving greeting cards, electronic gadgets, books or gifts to their fathers.

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