Father’s Day has been celebrated annually since 1972 when President Richard Nixon signed the law making it a public holiday. The idea began in 1909 when Sonora Dodd of Spokane, Washington was listening to a Mother’s Day sermon. She decided she wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart. Smart was a Civil War veteran. Widowed, he was left to raise his six children on the family farm. The month of June was chosen and proclaimed in 1910 because this is the month Smart was born.
President Lyndon Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation honoring fathers in 1966, designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, it is estimated that there are:
• 70.1 million fathers;
• 24.4 million fathers are part of married-couples with children younger than 18 years old;
• 1.96 million single fathers (44 percent were divorced, 31 percent were never married, 20 percent were separated, and 5 percent were widowed);
• 189,000 stay-at-home dads, (defined as married fathers with children younger than 15 who have remained out of the labor force for at least one year).
Whatever your status, here’s hoping you see your children on Father’s Day. After all, what is Father’s Day without your children?