A Tribute to Fathers

Father's Day in the United States is often attributed to the efforts of Sonora Smart Dodd of Washington, who proposed the day in 1909 to honor her father for raising six children alone after the death of his wife. While her efforts must certainly have made an impact, others across the United States were simultaneously working to promote such a day as well. Still, it took the subsequent recommendations of three U.S. presidents—Coolidge, Johnson and Nixon—before fathers were officially recognized by a national observance in 1972. Nearly 40 years later, fathers continue to gain recognition as research makes it clear just how vital a role they play in a child's life.