When and why did father’s day start?
Father’s Day only came about because of the success of Mother’s Day.
During the 1860s, activist Ann Reeves Jarvis urged a town in post-Civil War West Virginia to celebrate “Mother’s Work Days”, bringing together the mothers of soldiers from both sides of the war.
In 1908, inspired by her mother’s work, Anna Jarvis worked to turn Mother’s Day into a national holiday. After just 6 years of successful celebrations, President Woodrow Wilson made Mother’s Day an official holiday in 1914.
The first father-oriented event was hosted in 1908 by a West Virginia church, a commemoration of the 362 men in the Fairmont Coal Company mines in December 1907. In 1909, a Washingtonian by the name of Sonora Smart Dodd worked to establish a celebration of fathers in honor of the widower who had raised her and her five siblings.
By 1910, she had successfully raised support to celebrate Father’s Day in the state of Washington. 1916 was the year President Wilson celebrated the day from Washington D.C., and in 1924 President Calvin Coolidge made it more "official" by encouraging state governments to observe the holiday. However, it wasn’t until 1972, nearly 50 years later, that President Richard Nixon made Father’s Day a federal holiday.
(Info courtesy of History.com)