Pin It
Favorite

Daddy's Girl 

The long history of Father's Day, from Spokane to Congress.

click to enlarge art15237.jpg

One Sunday morning at the Central United Methodist Church in downtown Spokane, an idea was born. The year was 1909, and the preacher was endorsing Mother’s Day, a new holiday started back in West Virginia that was sweeping the nation. One young woman in the lock could only wonder: “What about Dad?”

By the next year, on June 19, 1910 — a century ago this week — Spokane was first to observe Father’s Day.

Dodd’s father William Smart was worth celebrating. A Civil War veteran who moved his family to Spokane from Arkansas after the war, he raised his six kids after his wife died giving birth to their last child. His daughter’s idea took on a life of its own and was championed by presidents, newspaper editors and even sellers of men’s wear. But despite such support — and the fact that Mother’s Day was adopted as law by Congress in 1914 — it took until 1972 for the holiday to be “officially” recognized by President Richard Nixon.

It’s a fun little footnote to history, and another example of that Spokane knack for big ideas and not giving up on them until they are huge. But this week is also a chance to celebrate Mrs. Dodd, whose father raised her well; she became a noted local philanthropist, wrote poetry and lived to be 96. At Expo ’74, a few years before she died, she was “officially” recognized as the Mother of Father’s Day.

Ted S. McGregor Jr. is the Editor and Publisher of The Inlander.

  • Pin It

Speaking of Common Ground

  • Big Sky Stories
  • Big Sky Stories

    As Montana goes, so might go the rest of the nation in the Big Money 2012 election.
    • Aug 24, 2011
  • Indelible Day
  • Indelible Day

    A Fourth of July dispatch from the nation's capitol.
    • Jul 6, 2011
  • The Fourth Day
  • The Fourth Day

    What if the Confederacy had won the Battle of Gettysburg?
    • Jun 29, 2011
  • More »

Latest in Comment

  • This Isn't Normal
  • This Isn't Normal

    America has gone down this road before, and it's a dead end
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Incendiary Words
  • Incendiary Words

    Trail Mix: Trump's gifts to civics teachers everywhere
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Fake-News Nightmare
  • Fake-News Nightmare

    The social media dream of the 2000s is fading, but we can reset the system by sticking up for the truth
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »

Comments

Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Add a comment

Today | Thu | Fri | Sat | Sun | Mon | Tue
Gaiser Conservatory Holiday Lights

Gaiser Conservatory Holiday Lights @ Manito Park

Dec. 9-18

All of today's events | Staff Picks

More by Ted S. McGregor Jr.

  • BOOKS
  • BOOKS

    From Twin Peaks to the darkest reaches of our galaxy, there's a new book for everyone on your list
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Fake-News Nightmare
  • Fake-News Nightmare

    The social media dream of the 2000s is fading, but we can reset the system by sticking up for the truth
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • Trump wins: America's great state of disconnect
  • Trump wins: America's great state of disconnect

    • Nov 9, 2016
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Unfinished Business

    Isaiah Wall wants to get his life on track. But first, he's gotta buy drugs for the police
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • This Isn't Normal

    America has gone down this road before, and it's a dead end
    • Dec 1, 2016
  • More »

Top Tags in
News & Comment

Briefs


green zone


marijuana


trail mix


Comment


Readers also liked…

  • To Kill the Black Snake
  • To Kill the Black Snake

    Historic all-tribes protest at Standing Rock is meant to stop the destruction of the earth for all
    • Sep 8, 2016
  • What Now?
  • What Now?

    How a career change forced me to reevaluate fatherhood
    • Jun 30, 2016

© 2016 Inlander
Website powered by Foundation