Sonora Smart Dodd, a woman from Spokane, WA, was inspired to create Father’s Day after listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909. “Don’t you think fathers deserve a place in the sun, too?” she is said to have asked the minister. Dodd’s own mother had died and she and her siblings had been raised by their father.
Dodd picked June for the celebration (the month of her dad’s birthday) and in 1910, the first Father’s Day was celebrated in Spokane. In 1972, President Richard Nixon signed a proclamation making Father’s Day a federal holiday. Besides the United States, 75 others celebrate on the third Sunday of June. These include China, India, Japan, Mexico, and the United Kingdom.