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Father's Day: How did it begin?

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Father's Day

Father's Day, which is Sunday, June 19, began in honor of a widowed Civil War veteran who raised six children by himself.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Sonora Dodd of Spokane, Washington, first proposed the idea of a father's day in 1909. Dodd wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart, a widowed Civil War veteran who was raising six children on a farm by himself. The first Father's Day celebration occurred on June 19, 1910, because it was the month of Smart's birth.

In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation designating the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. President Richard M. Nixon signed the public law that made Father's Day permanent in 1972.

Father's Day has become a day to honor your father, but also a day to honor all men who act as father figures, including uncles, stepfathers, brothers, and grandfathers.

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