Father\'s Day Origin Leaves Locals Guessing

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COLUMBIA - The holiday that most dads anticipate carries an untold origin that very few people, including men, can recall. Not even a store-bought card can tell the tale correctly.

"A father sometime ago said, 'Hey, wait a minute. We're six weeks past Mother's Day and we haven't gotten anything yet,'" said Shann Sievers, a Columbia father of two. "I'm gonna go with that story that a father probably worked at Hallmark in Kansas City or something like that."

One local resident proposed a more distant legacy to the day of dads.

"I was raised in a household where Father's Day was viewed as an ancient Nortic tradition, first established by the Vikings," said Sam Schlotzhauer, a server at Shakespeare's Pizza on 9th Street.

A 'Vikings' tradition could seem heartily boastful among dads, but Father's Day did not originate in the United States from Scandinavian influence(s). 

In fact, America celebrates Father's Days because of one woman's courage. Father's Day traces its roots back to Sonora Smart Dodd, who sat listening to her pastor thank the mothers of Spokane, Washington in 1910.

It is recorded that she was concerned why mothers would be recognized on a separate day, while fathers were not. She would later approach a local ministerial board that eventually approved the idea of having a celebrated day for fathers. The board decided to hold its celebration on the third Sunday of June. The first celebration of Father's Day was observed in Dodd's hometown.

It wasn't until 1972, 62 years later after Dodd's hometown celebration, that President Richard Nixon agreed to pass the first national holiday celebrating Father's Day.

KOMU news met with numerous fathers to discuss the Father's Day origin. Some father's proudly pointed out their number of children in between questions.

"I have three," said Craig Laskowski. "I have a 15-year-old son, a 12-year-old daughter and a 2-year-old boy."

Other men would not feel as comfortable discussing their children. One man sitting on the steps outside the Missouri United Methodist Church said he did not feel close to his children and was uncomfortable having a discussion about Father's Day. 

Just a few feet away was another man sitting on a parking lot sign. LaMarron Thomas wasn't as cautious about Father's Day discourse, despite having multiple children that he's lost touch with as well.

"It's great when you have kids," he started. "You know, the things I've been through in life in teaching them to do the right things...I don't have any bad kids or terrible kids, or problem-child kids."

Thomas feels blessed that his kids have led fruitful lives by going to college and raising kids of their own. That's a Father's Day factoid every dad wants to tell on the third Sunday of June.