The United States is one of the few countries in the world that has an official day on which fathers are honored by their children. On the third Sunday in June, fathers all across the United States are given presents, treated to dinner or otherwise made to feel special. .
The origin of Father's Day is not clear. Some say that it began with a church service in West Virginia in 1908. Others say the first Father's Day ceremony was held in Vancouver, Washington.
Regardless of when the first true Father's Day occurred, the strongest promoter of the holiday was Mrs. Bruce John Dodd of Spokane, Washington. She thought of the idea for Father's Day while listening to a Mother's Day sermon in 1909.
Sonora wanted a special day to honor her father, William Smart. Smart, who was a Civil War veteran, was widowed when his wife died while giving birth to their sixth child. Mr. Smart was left to raise the newborn and his other five children by himself on a rural farm in eastern Washington state.
After Sonora became an adult she realized the selflessness her father had shown in raising his children as a single parent. It was her father that made all the parental sacrifices and was, in the eyes of his daughter, a courageous, selfless, and loving man. In 1909, Mrs. Dodd approached her own minister and others in Spokane about having a church service dedicated to fathers on June 5, her father's birthday.
That date was too soon for her minister to prepare the service, so he spoke a few weeks later on June 19th. From then on, the state of Washington celebrated the third Sunday in June as Father's Day. Children made special desserts, or visited their fathers if they lived apart.
In early times, wearing flowers was a traditional way of celebrating Father's Day. Mrs. Dodd favored the red rose to honor a father still living, while a white flower honored a deceased dad. J.H. Berringer, who also held Father's Day celebrations in Washington State as early as 1912, chose a white lilac as the Father's Day Flower.
States and organizations began lobbying Congress to declare an annual Father's Day. In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson approved of this idea, but it was not until 1924 when President Calvin Coolidge made it a national event to "establish more intimate relations between fathers and their children and to impress upon fathers the full measure of their obligations."
Since then, fathers had been honored and recognized by their families throughout the country on the third Sunday in June. In 1966 President Lyndon Johnson signed a presidential proclamation declaring the 3rd Sunday of June as Father's Day and put the official stamp on a celebration that was going on for almost half a century.
When children can't visit their fathers or take them out to dinner, they send a greeting card. Traditionally, fathers prefer greeting cards that are not too sentimental. Most greeting cards are whimsical(奇形怪状的，异想天开的)so fathers laugh when they open them. Some give heartfelt thanks for being there whenever the child needed Dad.
1909 年，住在美国华盛顿州士波肯市(Spokane)的杜德夫人(Mrs. Dodd, Sonora Louise Smart Dodd)，当她参加完教会举办的母亲节主日崇拜之后，杜德夫人的心里有了很深的感触，她心里想着：“为什么这个世界没有一个纪念父亲的节日呢?”
杜德夫人的母亲在她十三岁那一年时去世，遗留下六名子女;杜德夫人的父亲威廉斯马特先生(Mr. William Smart)，在美国华盛顿州东部的一个乡下农场中，独自一人、父兼母职抚养六名子女长大成人。斯马特先生参与过美国南北战争，功勋标榜，他在妻子过世后立志不再续弦，全心带大六名儿女。
瑞马士牧师听了斯马特先生的故事后，深深地为斯马特先生的精神与爱心所感动，他赞许且支持杜德夫人想推动「父亲节」的努力。于是杜德夫人在 1910 年春天开始推动成立父亲节的运动，不久得到各教会组织的支持;她随即写信向市长与州政府表达自己的想法与提议，在杜德夫人的奔走努力下，士波肯市市长与华盛顿州州长公开表示赞成，于是美国华盛顿州便在 1910 年 6 月 19 日举行了全世界的第一次父亲节聚会。