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.

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