Father's Day, a day which celebrates fatherhood and male parenting, was first celebrated in 1910 at the YMCA in Spokane, Washington. Dodd was motivated by her experience of being raised by a single parent, her father, William Jackson Smart, who was a Civil War veteran that raised his six children. Her mother died in childbirth with her sixth child when Sonora was 16.
In 1909, after hearing a sermon about Jarvis' Mother's Day, Dodd told her pastor that fathers deserved such a day as well. She initially suggested June 5, her father's birthday, as the date for Father's Day, but the actual celebration took place on the third Sunday of June, and has since.
A bill to accord national recognition of the holiday was introduced in Congress in 1913, and three year later, President Woodrow Wilson went to Spokane to speak in a Father's Day celebration and wanted to make it official. However, Congress resisted, fearing that it would become commercialized. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge recommended that the day be observed by the nation, but stopped short of issuing a national proclamation. (Two previous attempts to formally recognize the holiday had been defeated by Congress.) The celebration remained quiescent until in the 1930s Dodd returned to Spokane and started promoting the celebration again, raising awareness at a national level. She was supported by trade groups that saw that they would most from the holiday, such as the makers of ties, tobacco pipes, and any traditional present given to men. In 1938, she gained the support and assistance of the Father's Day Council, founded by the New York Associated Men's Wear Retailers, who would consolidate and systematize the commercial promotion. As early Americans resisted and tended to deride the celebration, viewing it as another commercial venture that helped manufacturers line their pockets, the trade groups did not cave in.
In 1957, Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith wrote a proposal accusing Congress of ignoring fathers for 40 years while honoring mothers, thus "[singling] out just one of our two parents". In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers, designating the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. Six years later, the day was made a permanent national holiday when President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972. Eventually, Father's Day, according to the Father's Council, would become a "'Second Christmas' for all the men's gift-oriented industries."
P.S. In the Afrikan American tradition, Father's Day is a neglected holiday, due mostly to the struggle of Afrikan men to establish and maintain a family and be fathers in a nation governed by White Supremacy. Happy Father's Day to all the deserving fathers who have managed to be fathers in spite of the system, and even in spite of your selves, LOL.