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Timeline of Father's Day History

Ninety years of celebrating dads

by Holly Hartman
1910s 1920s 1950s 1960s 1970s 2000s
1910

Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, organizes the first Father's Day celebration on June 19, her own father's birthday. The mayor of Spokane and the governor of Washington state officially support the event. Dodd's father, a farmer and Civil War veteran, had been a single father to six young children after the death of his wife.

1924

President Calvin Coolidge publicly supports plans for a national Father's Day.

1926

The National Father's Day Committee meets for the first time in New York City.

1956

The observance of Father's Day is recognized by a Joint Resolution of Congress.

1966

President Lyndon Johnson proclaims Father's Day to be an official national holiday.

1972

President Richard Nixon signs into law a permanent U.S. Father's Day to be observed on the third Sunday of June.

1999

Father's Day is the fifth most popular card-sending holiday, with an estimated $95 million in card sales. Not just fathers but husbands, grandfathers, uncles, sons, and sons-in-law are among the honorees.

2001

Only days before Father's Day an estimated 53% of Americans do not know what they will buy for the holiday. If they are like last year's consumers, 60% will buy cards, while the most popular gifts will be apparel (41%), dinner (38%), sporting goods (22%), home improvement merchandise (18%), electronics (17%), and gardening tools (12%).

2004

In 2004, there were an estimated 98,000 "stay-at-home" dads. These are married fathers with children under 15 years old who have remained out of the labor force for more than one year primarily so they can care for the family while their wives work outside the home.

2008

There were an estimated 159,000 "stay-at-home" dads in 2008. These are married fathers with children under 15 years old who have remained out of the labor force for more than one year primarily so they can care for the family while their wives work outside the home.

2011

In 2011, there were 176,000 stay-at-home dads caring for 32,000 children.



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Did you know?
On Dec. 19, 1843, Charles Dickens published "A Christmas Carol."

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