Father’s Day: Diverse traditions
The modern concept of Father’s Day can be traced back to Spokane, Washington, North America in 1909, where Sonora Louise Smart Dodd questioned why there was a day to honour one’s mother but not one’s father. Dodd’s mother had died in childbirth, leaving her father to take care of six children alone, instilling in Dodd a desire to celebrate him in the same manner society celebrated their mothers. Inspired by Anna Jarvis’ plight to promote Mother’s Day, Dodd began her campaign whilst being supported by local charities, leading to Spokane celebrating its first Father’s Day on June 19th 1910.
The popularity of the American Father’s Day was bolstered by the backing of presidents Woodrow Wilson and Calvin Coolidge who lent their support to the idea as a way to encourage closer family ties. Divorce rates had doubled in a relatively short period and Father’s Day was viewed as a necessary protection of the nuclear family. In 1966, following a prolonged period of hesitation, President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation which declared that Father’s Day was to be acknowledged on the third Sunday in June each year: “I invite State and local governments to cooperate in the observance of that day; and I urge all our people to give public and private expression to the love and gratitude which they bear for their fathers.”
-  http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/?pid=105733