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It is said that the first Father's Day celebration was conceived in Spokane, Washington State, 1909. Sonora Louise Smart Dodd, the daughter of Civil War veteran William Smart, proposed a day to honour fathers around the country.
Her father, who after the death of his wife during childbirth in 1898, had raised her and her 5 siblings alone. Inspired by this, she wanted to let him, and the world, know how special he was to her. The idea is said to of come to her whilst listening to a Mother's Day sermon. "Jolly good show, say what"

By 1916 the idea had spread across the country, and was even promoted by President Woodrow Wilson. In 1956 Father's Day was recognised by a Joint Resolution of Congress. It wasn't until 1966 that President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed the third Sunday of every June, the official Father's Day. Later in 1972 President Nixon established a permanent national observation of the day. The 19th of June 1910, Spokane Washington, was originally when and where the first Father's Day celebrations were held, being in the home and birth month of William Smart.

Harry C. Meek is also given credit for founding the idea of Father's Day. A President of a Chicago Lions Club, Meeks gave speeches to various groups about the need to honour fathers through out the United States. In appreciation for his work, the Lions Clubs of America presented him with a gold watch, with the inscription "Originator of Father's Day," on his birthday, June 20, 1920.

Today, Father's Day is celebrated in a number of countries around the world, on different official dates. New Zealand celebrates Father's Day on the first Sunday of September, the 3rd this year. The white or red rose is the official flower for Father's Day. Wearing a white rose honour a father who is deceased and a red rose for a father who is living.

USA, UK, Canada and most parts of the world - the third Sunday of June.
Australia and New Zealand - the first Sunday of September.
Spain and Belgium - 19 March.
Sweden - the second Sunday of November

"A man knows when he is growing old because he begins to look like his father."
Gabriel García Márquez (b. 1928), Colombian writer