Father’s Day was founded in Spokane, Washington, at the YMCA in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd. Its first celebration was in the Spokane YMCA on June 19, 1910. Sonora’s father, the Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who raised his six children there. After hearing a sermon about Mother’s Day at Central Methodist Episcopal Church in 1909, she told her pastor that fathers should have a similar holiday honoring them. Although she initially suggested June 5, her father’s birthday, the Spokane Ministerial Alliance pastors did not have enough time to prepare their sermons, and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday of June.
Fast forward 112 years, and we still recognize Father’s Day as a day to celebrate dads. Men, who bring home a paycheck each week, can fix a leaky toilet, provide endless parental advice (even if their children are annoyed by it), and instinctively know when to take a long drive and allow their son or daughter to vent their problems. This day allows us to celebrate the fathers who fiercely love their children and do their best to provide a stable family life. Fathers strive to protect their children from danger, teach by example, and coach them through our complicated world. It has never been more important to have a strong father character in our children’s lives in today’s society.
Whether you are a new father experiencing the joy of a newborn baby (and the sleepless nights that accompany it), or you are preparing to move your firstborn into their dream college this fall semester, you are honored. Whether you are a blood relative, stepfather, adopted father, or simply a strong male figure in a child’s life, you are making a difference.
I am thankful that my children have always had a compassionate father and stepfather. Even after divorcing my children’s father, we both remained in their lives and loved them intensely. Luckily, they had their biological parents plus a loving stepfather and stepmother. Our blended family was close, and we often spent family holidays with everyone present and having fun. Not many divorced families can say that, but we wanted our children to know they were loved and had two father figures willing to stand beside them.
ALT Magazine wishes each father a wonderful Father’s Day. We are proud of you for being a landmark of stability that guides your children down the twist and turns of life.
Children of every age, take a moment to celebrate your father. Even with all of his mistakes, he has worked hard to raise you well. Let him know he is cherished, and celebrate him!
May God bless you and yours,