Mrs. John B. Dodd, formerly Sonora Smart of Spokane, Wash., was so grateful to her father that she rallied for an annual Father’s Day observance in 1909. A civil war veteran who was widowed when his wife died in childbirth, Dodd’s father was left with six children to raise.
Within a year of her circulating petitions in support of an annual observance, the city of Spokane agreed to honor all fathers on the third Sunday in June, a date close to her father’s birthday. Meanwhile, cities and towns all across the United States started to celebrate Father’s Day.
It was Vermont’s own President Calvin Coolidge who supported the idea of a national Father’s Day back in 1924, although it was not until 1966 that President Lyndon Johnson declared Father’s Day a national holiday.