SHGT: Mother of Father's Day
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This cache is part of the Spokane History GeoTour. If you are participating in this GeoTour be sure to download and print your passport at http://SpokaneGeoTour.com and get started today
Mother of Fathers Day
This is private property. Please be respectful of the landscaping, the monument and the privacy of the owners. Please feel free to walk up into the yard and read the monument. The cache is touching the monument.
Father’s Day was 100 years old on June 20, 2010, and a Spokane,
Washington, woman is credited with being the founder of the annual celebration. Sonora Smart Dodd, often referred to as the “Mother of Father’s Day,” was 16 years old when her mother died in 1898, leaving her father William Jackson Smart to raise Sonora and her five younger brothers on a remote farm in Eastern
In 1909 when Sonora heard a Mother’s Day sermon at Central Methodist Church in Spokane, she was inspired to propose that Father’s receive equal recognition.
The following year with the assistance of Reverend Dr. Conrad Bluhm, her pastor at Old Centenary Presbyterian Church (now Knox Presbyterian Church), Sonora took the idea to the Spokane YMCA. The Spokane YMCA, along with the Ministerial Alliance, endorsed Dodd’s idea and helped it spread by celebrating the first Father’s Day in 1910. Sonora suggested her father’s birthday, June 5th, be established as the day to honor all Father’s. However, the pastors wanted more time to prepare, so June 19, 1910 was designated as the first Father’s Day and sermons honoring Father’s were presented throughout the city.
It was years, however, before Father’s Day gained national prominence. In 1924 President Calvin Coolidge recognized Father’s Day and urged the states to do likewise. In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a proclamation calling for the third Sunday in June to be recognized as Father’s Day and requested that flags to be flown that day on all government buildings. President Richard M. Nixon signed a proclamation in 1972, permanently observing Father’s Day on the third Sunday in June.
Sonora’s pivotal role in the creation of a national Father’s Day celebration was recognized in 1943 at a luncheon in her honor in New York City at the Billion Dollar Bond Drive, at a celebration by the National Council for the Promotion of Father’s Day at the 1940 New York World’s Fair and at the 1974 World’s Fair Expo in Spokane. A plaque dedicated in 1948 honoring Sonora Dodd’s efforts rests on a granite boulder outside the Central Spokane YMCA commemorating the YMCA’s role in the first celebration of Father’s Day.
Today Father’s Day is celebrated from Antigua to Zimbabwe in over 50 countries around the world.
Built in 1913 and 1922 respectively, the Dodd House & Garage are excellent examples of the Craftsman style. The property was built for John Bruce Dodd, a Prudential Insurance Company agent and Spokane businessman, and his wife, Sonora Smart Dodd, a prominent Spokane artist, poet, civic benefactor, philanthropist, and the founder of Father’s Day. From 1913 to 1950, the Dodd House was owned by the Dodd family and achieved significance as the home of Sonora Smart Dodd, who is recognized around the world as the woman who created and promoted official city and federal recognition of Father’s Day. Sonora Dodd’s tireless work while residing in the Dodd House led to an official proclamation signed by United States President Richard Nixon in 1972 which made Father’s Day an American holiday observed each year in June by millions of people throughout the country. Praised for enriching “the religious, civic, and cultural life of Spokane,” and for “giving Spokane credit in the eyes of the nation and the world,” Sonora Smart Dodd’s contributions were far-reaching, magnanimous, and were summarized by the Spokesman-Review at her death: “Honor for thousands of fathers everywhere and for her home city through [the] establishment of Father’s Day is an everlasting epitaph for Mrs. John Bruce Dodd.”
As of June 19, 2010 the home has been listed by the National Park Service as a National landmark on the National Register. This is a first for Spokane.
2015 is the inaugural year of Spokane GeoTour. This Spokane County tour will send geocachers on a trip through Spokane History, finding caches in areas of historical significance. Visit urban and rural gems, historic farming communities, forts, geological marvels, and seek new adventures. The Spokane History GeoTour rewards those who complete with a commemorative geocoin featuring the native Spokane Salish language.
Visit (visit link) to view a list and map of qualifying caches. All caches begin with the series name "SHGT:" followed by a location specific name.
Be sure to read the challenge rules and print your passport at (visit link)
You must record the cache code word on the passport with the code inside each GeoTour cache to qualify for a geocoin.
The Spokane History GeoTour is sponsored by Spokane County TPA, Cache Advance, and Washington State Geocaching Association (WSGA). We hope you enjoy the tour!
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