Can You Name The National Holiday That Originated In Washington State?

There are many national holidays but one holiday we observe originated right here in the State of Washington.


Who Is Sonora Smart Dodd?

Washington is considered the birthplace of many things like Starbucks, Amazon, and Microsoft but a national holiday would seem to be an unusual birthplace for the Evergreen State but it's true, Washington State has something to do with a major holiday.

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The story starts in Spokane Washington back in 1908.

Sonora Smart Dodd has been credited with the founding of Father's Day. Dodd's father, William Jackson Smart was the inspiration for the holiday.

Unconditional love

Was Father's Day Created In Spokane Washington?

After Dodd's mom passed away from childbirth, Dodd's father along with Sonora helped raised her siblings.

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Wavebreakmedia Ltd

After the newly anointed Mother's Day was discussed in a sermon at her church in 1908, Dodd suggested the idea of fathers getting recognized as well.


Sonora's church, Central Methodist Episcopal Church, and the Spokane Ministerial Alliance were approached and Sonora had suggested her father's birthday as the official date for Father's Day on June 5th.

The Alliance suggested that the date be the third Sunday in June instead and the first Father's Day service was held on June 19th, 1910.

Does Spokane Washington Get Credit As The Birthplace Of Father's Day?

The holiday faded in the '20s but over time, Father's Day became popular and was eventually embraced by the nation. One interesting note, President Woodrow Wilson sent a telegram to Spokane saying how much he liked the idea of a Father's Day service.

President Lyndon Johnson, in the year 1966 proclaimed Father's Day as a holiday and in 1973, President Richard Nixon officially announced Father's Day as a nationally observed holiday.

Dodd passed away in 1978 at the age of ninety-six and is buried at the Greenwood Memorial Terrace in Spokane.

It's interesting to note that without Dodd, we might not celebrate Father's Day as we know it today.

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