History of Father’s Day

History of Father’s Day

Spokane is the birthplace of “Father’s Day”, even though the first attempted observance of a day honoring dads occurred in Fairmont, West Virginia, on July 5, 1908.  Several other failed attempts occurred, in Chicago, IL in 1911 and Vancouver, WA in 1912.  In 1915, Harry C. Meek claimed to be the originator of “Father’s Day”, and that the third Sunday in June was the chosen day of celebration, because it was Mr. Meek’s birthday.  He strove to promote this day to honor dads.

The truth is that on June 19, 1910, Sonora Smart Dodd held the first Father’s Day celebration at the local YMCA, in Spokane, WA.  She suggested the idea to her pastor, and it was accepted throughout the city.  However, in 1920, Dodd began her studies at the Art Institute of Chicago and ceased promoting the celebration.  A bill was introduced into Congress in 1913, to give Father’s Day national recognition. However, it wasn’t until 1916, that President Woodrow Wilson, while attending a speaking engagement in Spokane during a Father’s Day celebration, decided to make the day an official holiday.  Congress resisted the idea, stating that the day may become too commercialized.

In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge recommended that Father’s Day be observed nationally, but he didn’t follow through with the needed proclamation.   Margaret Chase Smith, a Senator from Maine, wrote a proposal in 1957 accusing Congress of ignoring fathers, while honoring mothers.  President Lyndon B. Johnson issued the first presidential proclamation in 1966 honoring fathers, and set aside the third Sunday in June for this celebration.  In 1972, the day finally became a national holiday, when President Richard M. Nixon signed it into law.

Fun activity ideas, in and around the Spokane area, to celebrate Dad’s Day

Silverwood Theme Park & Boulder Beach Water Park

On Father’s Day weekend, Dad’s get into this adventure park for FREE, while other family members need to purchase a ticket at the entrance or on line.  This is a fun-filled day for the entire family to enjoy.

Spokane Craft Brewery Tours

A tour is a great way to try some of the local beers around the city.  There is the “No-Li Brew House” or the “Inland Northwest Ale Trail” offering a few different brewery stops.

Taste World-Class Wines at Maryhill Winery

If a sip of wine is more your taste, this is the place to be.  The special for June is the “Grilling and Chilling” event.  Reservations are required.  Also, there is live entertainment to be enjoyed most weekends, from May until October.

Get Outdoors with Dad

Many men love the great outdoors, and Spokane has a lot to offer, such as hiking the Centennial Trails, or taking a scenic bike ride near the Schweitzer Mountain Resort.  Also, take your dad to the Coeur d’Alene River, to see how the fish are biting.

Live entertainment

Also, there are plenty of live entertainment options, in and around the Spokane area, such as live music or stand-up comedy that your dad may love.