Fathers DayJust as the saying goes that behind every great man there is a great woman, the inspiration behind the celebration of a Father's Day is owed at least partly to its slightly earlier counterpart, Mother's Day. Mother's Day was just beginning to gather widespread attention in the United States in 1909, when Sonora Louise Smart Dodd, of Spokane, Washington, heard a sermon on the merits of setting aside a day to honor one's mother. It gave her the idea to petition for a day to honor fathers, and in particular, her own father, William Jackson Smart, who had raised her and her five siblings by himself, after her mother died in childbirth.
With support from the Spokane Ministerial Association and the YMCA, her efforts paid off, and on June 19, 1910, the first Father's Day was celebrated in Spokane. The rose was selected as the official Father's Day flower, and some suggest that people wear a white rose to honor a father who is deceased, and a red one for a father who is living. In 1972, Richard Nixon signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father's Day.
Today, Father's Day is another day for greeting card companies to rejoice, and sales of the most popular gifts for Dad (shirts, ties, and electric razors) increase considerably. Perhaps most telling of Dad's perpetual role in the eyes of their children, though, is the fact that more collect calls are recorded on Father's Day then on any other day of the year!