With our fathers, we enjoyed a special Father’s Day. She is therefore in charge of those yearly gifts, which range from embarrassingly silly-looking neckties to children’s finger paintings that are made with such love that they can make even the most stern-faced father cry. It’s a custom. Dodd made the decision to begin while she listened to a sermon about Mother’s Day in a Spokane church on Mother’s Day 1909. After all, Dodd’s father had raised her and her five younger brothers after their mother passed away in childbirth in 1898. William Jackson Smart served in the Civil War and then started farming.
His daughter always said he managed both parental roles with “leadership and love,” and she thought he should be given some credit for that. Roddy said, holding up a copy of The River Press from Fort Benton, Montana, which covered the event. “So she worked tirelessly with the local clergy and got the YWCA on board, and they had their first Father’s Day in Spokane in 1910,” he said. Father’s Day took some time to catch on, despite the prediction in that story that it would become a national holiday by the following year. So much so that Dodd lobbied presidents and retailers for support for the following 62 years.