Father’s Day, a celebration honoring fathers and father figures, highlights the contributions of fathers to their children’s lives and to society as a whole. Many countries — including the United States — observe Father’s Day on the third Sunday in June, but it is also celebrated on other days in many parts of the world.
Founded in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Washington, Father’s Day was conceived as a holiday complementing Mother’s Day, which honors mothers and motherhood.
Dodd was inspired by her own father, Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, who raised his six children as a single parent after the death of his wife. This was uncommon at the time, as many widowers of that era placed their children in the care of others or quickly married again.
Although Dodd eventually succeeded in establishing Father’s Day as a national celebration, the day did not become a permanent national holiday until President Richard Nixon signed it into law in 1972.
Today, Father’s Day is often marked by family outings, cards and gifts. Here, a father teaches his 4-year-old son how to fish while enjoying Father’s Day at the Sacajawea Park lagoon in Livingston, Montana.