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Dads, credit Sonora Smart Dodd for that tie you always wanted, hand-drawn, crayon-colored greeting card and all the attention lavished on you today. Why? Because Dodd was an equal opportunist daughter.
While listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909 at Central Methodist Episcopal Church in Spokane, Wash., Dodd got to thinking that fathers deserved special recognition, too.
She planned a tribute to her own father, a Civil War veteran who raised six children by himself after his wife died. She started a petition for the holiday and planned the first celebration for June, 10, 1910, the month her father was born.
Fourteen years later, President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of a national Father’s Day. Bit didn’t become official until 1966 when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father’s Day.
While fathers have primarily been the family provider, their roles have changed somewhat during the past century – especially in today’s challenging economy. Today, they not only provide shelter, food, clothing and other necessities, they also change diapers, help with homework and housework, cook, coach, discipline, encourage and mentor their children.
While some roles may have changed what hasn’t changed is how important fathers, grandfathers and father figures are in our lives. Fathers are still providers, protectors, heroes and role models.
A father’s presence in their children’s lives provides a strong and stable foundation for the family to grow. Even Sigmund Freud noted the importance of fathers when he wrote, “I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection.”
William Shakespeare agreed when he said, “It is a wise father that knows his own child.”
Quite often, fathers are taken for granted. That’s why we’re thankful Dodd initated the effort to create this special day – just for fathers, aka Dad, Daddy or Pop.
We encourage you to take time today and recognize what your father means to you. Go ahead and celebrate with gifts and cards. But make sure you let him know how important he is in your life and thank him for all he’s done for you.
As you prepare for a hug, phone call or a silent prayer, remember the reason for Father’s Day and honor the man you call Dad.