Once Upon a Time, Father's Day was Born...100 Years Ago

Once Upon a Time, Father's Day was Born...100 Years Ago

Sonora Smart Dodd.

Does that name ring a bell or have any importance to you?

Well, this Sunday you'll be celebrating Father's Day thanks to Dodd who originated this special day for fathers everywhere. Better yet, this Sunday marks the 100th birthday of Father's Day! That's right, Father's Day has been celebrated for 100 years. Now sit back, relax and let me retell the story of how Father's Day came about...White Rose

Red Rose

Once upon a time in Spokane, Washington,
a young woman was sitting in church, attentively listening to the Sunday sermon on Mother's Day. It was the year 1910, two years after the first Mother's Day observance in West Virginia.

During this sermon, Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd realized something as she listened about the maternal sacrifices made for children -- it was her own father that made the sacrifices as he raised her and her 5 brothers...ALONE...after his wife died during childbirth. She realized fathers must also be recognized for their sacrifices and hard work, too.

And thus the idea of having a Father's Day was born and proposed. While the town of Spokane strongly supported it, it did receive a bit of criticism before it officially became an official observance in 1972, 62 years after it was proposed.

During the first observance, young members of the YMCA went to church wearing roses: a red rose to honor a living father, and a white rose to honor a deceased one. Dodd traveled through the city in a horse-drawn carriage, carrying gifts to fathers.

Dodd wanted Father's Day to be observed on her father's birthday (June 5), but the ministers claimed they needed extra time to prepare sermons on the new subject of fathers. This is why Father's Day always falls on the third Sunday of June.

Happy Father's Day!



"Either we honor both our parents, mother and father, or let us desist from honoring either one. But to single out just one of our two parents and omit the other is the most grievous insult imaginable."

Senator Margaret Chase Smith





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Hi Anna,  Interesting post.  I agree with the sentiment about honoring both or neither !

Posted by Bill Gillhespy, Fort Myers Beach Realtor, Fort Myers Beach Agent - Homes & Condos (16 Sunview Blvd) about 9 years ago

Anna, thanks for sharing the origins. I was afraid it was another Hallmark creation -- this is much nicer. Wishing you and yours a great weekend, and a special day on Sunday.

Posted by Lottie Kendall, Helping make your real estate dreams a reality (Compass) about 9 years ago


I didn't know the origins of Father's Day. Very interesting! I also notice your "Masters Series" video. I watched it when it was featured at REALTOR Magazine...and just now, watching it again, I thought it was not only informative, but a great connection to a true real estate professional. CONGRATULATIONS!..to you...and for those who get to work with you.

Posted by . 4Terra Land Brokers .. 828-776-0779 Asheville NC, What's Most Important to YOU? Call(828)-776-0779 ( REAL ESTATE RESOURCES & NETWORK ) about 9 years ago

Anna-thank you for that bit of history.  I always wondered about that!

Posted by Debbie Walsh, Hudson Valley NY Real Estate 845.283-3036 (Shahar Management) about 9 years ago

Anna - One of the ten commandments - Honor thy Father and Mother. Ya never know when they won't be around to just say hello to.

Posted by Claude Cross, Charlotte NC Homes For Sale (Homes By Cross, Inc. ) about 9 years ago

Anna:  Both my wife and I were lucky enough to have fathers that were unbelievably loving, wise, and true gentlemen.  I learned much of how to be a Father through observation and memories of my own dad, Ken Mundt, and my father-in-law, Fred Richards.  I pray that my own children can sometime say the same about me ... as well as their grandfathers.  Now that our youngest is going to be a father himself soon ... Father's Day has more meaning than ever.   Thank you for providing this little bit of history regarding this special day ...  


Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) about 9 years ago

Anna, Thank you so much for sharing this story! I didn't realize it was 100 years old nor the origin. Happy Fathers' day to all the Dads out there!!

Posted by Bruce Kunz, REALTOR®, Brick & Howell NJ Homes for Sale (C21 Solid Gold Realty, Brick, NJ, 732-920-2100) about 9 years ago

Bill...it's hard to imagine not honoring both...isn't it?  Most parents are truly deserving - and then some of many days of being honored.

Lottie - I too was surprised to learn that it was not a hallmark holiday but rather a honest-to-goodness attempt at honoring fathers.  I really didn't know this before I did some research.,

Hi janeAnne - you and me alike I had no idea either.  Thanks a bunch for your encouragement to grow and expand.  You have made a huge difference in how I see things......and it's all forward!  I appreciate your words on being a true professional as it's been so much a part of me and my business for so many years.  Thank You!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) about 9 years ago

Debra - I am glad to share this with all of you - I had no idea either which is kind of interesting!

Claude - nice to see you!  Either you've been very busy or both have us have been so that our paths haven't crossed.  Both my parents have passed and yet they still live on every day.......and I still ask for answers.  Good parents...of which I'm grateful.  Happy Father's Day!

Gene - what a wonderful gift you had of such loving father figures, as do your kids and soon to be grandbaby. Congratulations on the new grandbaby!  You are a true example of a great DAD! Happy Fathers Day & Grandfarther's Day!

Bruce - Happy Father's Day to you!  Enjoy your weekend!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) about 9 years ago


Thanks for sharing the background on the Father's day celebration.


Posted by Steve, Joel & Steve A. Chain (Chain Real Estate Investments & Mortgage, Steve & Joel Chain) about 9 years ago


Good history lesson. I did not know this; now I so. Thanks.

Posted by Terry Chenier (Homelife Glenayre Realty) about 9 years ago

Anna banana, well done..once again. Love the new signature, I hadn't seen it yet. Excellent post and story for the weekend. This is my first father's day. Looking forward to it and this story makes it even better.

Posted by Lane Midgett (1776 Real Estate Group Richmond, VA Local Expert ) about 9 years ago

How interesting. This is also the 100th anniversary of the birth of Samuel Barber and the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederic Chopin. I'm working on piano concerts for both of them. I'm sure both of them were fathers.

Posted by Jim Frimmer, Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist (HomeSmart Realty West) about 9 years ago

Nice Anna B . . . nice to know the history, which I did not.  And LOVE the video!! That's great!!

Posted by Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED (RETIRED / State License is Inactive) about 9 years ago

I had no idea that Father's Day has only been official for 38 years. Also, it wouldn't make sense to me to celebrate one parent and not the other.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) about 9 years ago

Anna- what a great historical overview!  Thanks for enlightening us as to the origin of Father's Day. I hope you have a wonderful one.

Posted by Allison Stewart, St. Cloud Fl Realtor, Osceola County Real Estate 407-616-9904 (St.Cloud Homes ) about 9 years ago

Thanks for the history, it is truly a day to honor our fathers, grandfathers and dads.


Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) about 9 years ago

Just since 1972??? Wow - I thought it'd been established my whole life! I guess that's why there's an old 'first' Mother's Day card to my Mom in my box of childhood stuff, but no Father's Day card. Never thought about that.

Posted by Pam Turner, REALTOR®, e-PRO®, SFR (Century 21 Belk Realtors Dalton GA) about 9 years ago


I just love pieces like this and I am also surprised that it has only been around since 1972. I am glad that fathers finally got their due.


Posted by Claudette Millette, Buyer, Broker - Metrowest Mass (The Buyers' Counsel) about 9 years ago


Great post. The history of why we do things is always important. I certainly wasn't aware of the beginnings of Father's Day.


Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) about 9 years ago

Anna, my brother, sister, and I will get together tomorrow to honor Fathers Day even though Dad has been gone for awhile. We also do this on Mothers Day to honor Mom. Great story and tomorrow we will be both happy and sad.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) about 9 years ago

Anna, I knew this coming Sunday is the 100th anniversary of Father's Day, but I didn't know the story behind it. Thanks for the history lesson.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA about 9 years ago

hi Ms Banana...

   Per my blog  today....my Dad planted white daisies in his remembrance and we honor his great memory every day, thank you for the bite of history.

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 9 years ago

Anna - I didn't know the origins of Father's Day.  Thanks for the lesson!  With regard to the sermon part, couldn't they have prepared them in May?  :)

Posted by Jason Crouch, Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653) (Austin Texas Homes, LLC) about 9 years ago


We really appreciate the origins of Father's Day.  Thanks so much for sharing it with us.

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) about 9 years ago

Anna --- thanks for this post -- this is news to me --I would like to share this story on my Web site--

                                                                                                                          The  <br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/>AgentOwned<br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/>  Realty<br/>  <br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/>Company<br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/><br/>  - Mama <br/>Liz Signature<br/> with blue

Posted by Liz Loadholt, Realtor--Broker-in-charge - Trainer--Relocation Director Covering SC (Liz Loadholt- AgentOwned Realty- Covering SC) about 9 years ago

Steve & Joel - Enjoy your Fathers Day!

Terry - Happy Fathers Day to you my Canadian friend!

Lane - how special for you - Happy 1st Fathers Day!

Jim, enjoy your concerts - how about a you tube video of your music?

Carla - interesting it was!  Thanks!

Christine - not many of us did apparently.  Now we do!

Allison - my husband will be relaxing and watching the open!  Alwasy a good day for him!

Missy - it is a great day to honor all the great guys in our life!

Pam - exactly I too thought it had been official forever....welll kind of.

Claudette - agreed!

Rich - Happy Fathers' Day to You!

Joe - I understand as both my folks have passed on.  White roses for us!

Wow Michael I first heard about the 100th anniversary the other day, that's what prompted me to want to know the history.  Happy Fathers' Day to You!

Sally - what a great idea and how nice to have them to remember him!

Jason - who knows about the sermon issue!!  Happy Fathers Day Jason!

Ron & Alexandra - you're welcome. Ron Happy Fathers Day!

Liz - absolutley share it - it's interesting!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) about 9 years ago

Wow, Anna.  I didn't know that.  I also didn't realize Father's Day wasn't an officially recognized observance until 1972.  It's always been observed as far back as I can remember.  Interesting!

Posted by Heather Chavez, Real Estate Virtual, Assistant (928) 692-3235 (Second Self Virtual Assistance) about 9 years ago

Thanks for sharing. I was just thinking I wonder who created these days.

Posted by Markita Woods NMLS#196099, Queen of Mortgages - FHA, VA, Conventional, USDA (Fairway Independent Mortgage) about 9 years ago

Thank you sharing this slice of history with us Anna.

Happy Father's Day to all the dad's out there!

Posted by Craig Rutman, Raleigh, Cary, Apex area Realtor (Helping people in transition) about 9 years ago

Hi Heather - Who knew!

Markita - your'e welcome!

Craig - Happy Fathers Day to you!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) about 9 years ago

This is really interesting Anna.  I didn't know the history behind Father's Day.  Thanks for sharing this with your friends on Fraiche Aire!

Posted by Lola Audu, Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home! (Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate) about 9 years ago

Anna, thanks for the information.  I didn't even remember that Father's Day wasn't an official holiday until 1972.

Posted by Tammie White, Broker, Franklin TN Homes for Sale (Franklin Homes Realty LLC) about 9 years ago

Anna....I did not know the origin of Father's Day.  Thank you for sharing the history and origin of such a special day.  I wholeheartedly agree that both parents deserve to be honored with their own day.

cosmic cow

Posted by Carra & Shae Riley, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) about 9 years ago

Hi Anna - I never knew the story about how Father's Day came into being.  God bless Sonora Smart Dodd for recognizing that Dads are an irreplacable part of the parenting team.

Posted by Pamela Cendejas, Second Self Virtual Assistance (928) 692-3235 (Second Self Virtual Assistance) about 9 years ago

Anna, nice history lesson about when Father's Day began....Something I didn't know and will pass it on.

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Vision Quest Realty) about 9 years ago

Lola - you're welcome. I enjoy Fraiche Aire Group!

Tammie - me neither!

Carra - it's interesting most of us had no idea about the history!

Rebecca - great!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) about 9 years ago

Hi Anna!  I love this post--I never knew this about Father's Day and do agree that fathers deserve their very own day.

I also wanted to let you know that I watched your Master Series video and am totally impressed.  You and I do think far more alike than I ever knew!  I do what you do and like you, it works.  I'm also glad to hear that you feel that this market is worse than the late 80's were.  I was a home buyer then but, not a REALTOR.  I keep hearing from the agents that have been in the business for many years saying that the 80's market was so much worse.  I can't imagine! As for revamping your plan--there was a period about two years ago that I revamped my business plan nearly every month!  It has certainly paid off and as you said, we're on the cusp of the turn-around--it's 2010 (thank goodness)! 

Great job on the video--very professional and very informative.  I know your agents are thrilled to work with you!

Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods (www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) about 9 years ago

Thanks for the history lesson.  Well worth the read.  We honor our Fathers (and Mothers) everyday by being the best we can be.  Thanks for the thoughts.

Posted by Ken Speer (Alpha Global Associates) about 9 years ago

HI Debe - yes good info and interesing!

Thank it's good to know there are others that know this style works - has for me for years. Yes this market is FAR worse than the late 80's - which was a blip compared to this.  We've still got another 3 to5 years before we're somewhat 'normal' again.  At least in our market.

Oh yes - I totaly understand re-doing the business plan on the fly - which is exactly what we needed to do to surrived the despeate times.  Thankfully it worked - all the hard, serious, dedicated efforts worked.  Actually - I think the results are just starting to show - this next couple of years is going to be fantastic in many many ways.

Thanks for the kudos on video - it was really due to Katie Tarbox's great producing. She's a whiz!

BTW - I will doing a webinar for NAR on July 13 about propecting with John Mayfield.

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) about 9 years ago

Anna, it's time to dust off this post and publish it again! Hard to believe it is almost a year later. Also watched your video, and we have reinvented ourselves to survive this market. So glad to hear your perspective from a Realtor® who survived the 80s market. We also have another 2-4 years before we are normal again.


Posted by Sharon Alters, Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL (Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308) about 8 years ago

Sharon - when I saw you left a comment on this post from last year - I thought - good grief a whole year has gone by again!  Amazing, isn't it!  Yes I had to re-invent myself when the market feel flat in 07/08 and we're going to come out well.  The 80's was nothing like this one - by a long shot. We'll all make it though...I know we will.!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886, Arizona's Top Banana! (Phoenix Property Shoppe) about 8 years ago

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