Father's Day Facts and History
The history behind Father's Day plus interested statistics about dads in America.
The tradition of Father’s Day started 101 years ago in Spokane, Washington. According to the Census Bureau, Sonora Dodd came up with the idea while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909. She wanted a day to honor her father, William Smart. June 19, 1910 was proclaimed the first Father’s Day by the Mayor of Spokane. This date was chosen because June was the month of Smart’s birthday.
President Lyndon Johnson designated the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day in 1966. The date has been celebrated each year since 1972, when President Richard Nixon signed a public law that made the date permanent.
- 70.1 million fathers nationwide (Source: unpublished data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation)
- 25.3 million fathers who are married with children under the age of 18. (www.census.gov)
- 1.8 million single fathers nationwide in 2010. (www.census.gov)
- 154,000 estimated stay-at-home dads nationwide in 2010. (www.census.gov)