With Father’s Day approaching, it’s time to uncover the fascinating origin of this special day dedicated to honouring our father’s.

The story of Father’s Day dates back to the early 20th century when an inspiring movement began to recognise the significant role of fathers and their contributions to family life. However, the journey to establishing an official Father’s Day was not as smooth as we might think.

The Origin

It’s the early 1900s and a woman named Sonora Smart Dodd from Spokane, Washington, attended a Mother’s Day sermon when she had a brilliant idea. Sonora’s father, William Jackson Smart, had been a loving and devoted single parent, raising Sonora and her siblings after their mother’s passing. Moved by her father’s unwavering love and sacrifices, Sonora felt compelled to honour fathers in the same way mothers were celebrated.

Sonora embarked on a mission to establish a day dedicated to fathers, aiming to celebrate fatherhood and acknowledge their vital role in nurturing and shaping their children’s lives. She tirelessly campaigned for the idea, reaching out to influential figures, community organisations, and even her local government.

After much effort, Sonora’s dream came true, and the first Father’s Day was celebrated in Spokane, Washington, on June 19, 1910. The day was marked by special church services, heartfelt speeches, and children presenting their fathers with handmade gifts and flowers.

Around the world:

News of this heart-warming celebration spread across the United States!  And gradually, Father’s Day gained recognition and popularity. However, it took several decades for the idea to cross the Atlantic and find its place in the United Kingdom.

In the UK, Father’s Day was inspired by the American tradition but took on its own unique characteristics. The date for celebrating Father’s Day was established as the third Sunday of June, aligning with the American tradition. While the origins of Father’s Day in the UK can be traced back to the early 20th century, it wasn’t until the 1940s and 1950s that the day gained widespread recognition. Later, it became an annual event.

Today, UK celebrates Father’s Day, honouring and appreciating fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers, and influential father figures. Families unite to show gratitude for their important role.

Happy Father’s Day to all the incredible men who light up our lives!

The Cooking Academy

This article is written by Kumud Gandhi – Food Scientist, nutritionist, writer & broadcaster.  Kumud Gandhi is the lead scientist at The Cooking Academy and is a pioneer of science-based nutritional coaching to support people achieve productivity and wellness through nutritional management.  She leads the ‘Wellness in the Workplace’ division at The Cooking Academy

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