When Sonora was 16, her mother died in childbirth with her sixth child. Sonora was the only daughter and shared with her father William in the raising of her younger brothers, including her new infant brother Marshall. Sonora Smart married John Bruce Dodd (1870-1945) and had a son, Jack Dodd, born in 1909.
Sonora Smart held her father in great esteem. While hearing a church sermon about the newly recognized Mother's Day, Sonora felt strongly that Fatherhood needed recognition as well. She approached the Spokane Ministerial Alliance and suggested her own father's birthday of June 5 as the day of honor for fathers. The Alliance chose the third Sunday in June instead.
The first Father's Day was celebrated June 19 1910 in Spokane, Washington. The idea of Father's Day became popular and embraced across the nation. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson came to Spokane and spoke at Father's Day services. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the third Sunday of June as Father's Day. In 1972, President Nixon established a permanent national observance of Father's Day to be held on the 3rd Sunday of June each year.
Sonora Smart Dodd was honored at the World's Fair in Spokane, Washington in 1974. Sonora Louise Smart Dodd died in 1978 at the age of ninety-six. She was buried in Greenwood Memorial Terrace, Spokane Washington, USA
Rep. Mcmorris Rodgers Introduces Resolution Concerning Dodd's Contribution in Recognizing Father's Day importance
Jul 17, 2009; WASHINGTON, July 17 -- Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, D-Illinois, has introduced a resolution (H. RES. 539) "Commending Sonora...