Father's Day was first celebrated in Spokane, Washington on June 19, 1910. Sonora Smart Dodd originally thought of the idea while listening to a Mother's Day sermon the previous year. Dodd and her five siblings were raised single handedly by their father, William Jackson Smart, after their mother died during childbirth in 1898. Her petition advocating a national father's day was supported by the local ministerial association and the Young Men's Christian Association.
By 1924, the idea of a national Father's Day was so popular that President Calvin Coolidge supported it. However, it was not until 1966 that a presidential proclamation declared that the third Sunday of June as Father's Day. This proclamation by President Lyndon Johnson was made permanent by President Richard Nixon in 1972.