Father's Day is celebrated on the third Sunday of June. Its first celebration was in Spokane, Washington on June 19, 1910. Other festivities honoring fathers had been held in Fairmont and in Creston, but the modern holiday did not emerge from those.
Modern Father's Day was invented by Sonora Smart Dodd, born in Arkansas, who was also the driving force behind its establishment. Her father, the Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, was a single parent who reared his six children in Spokane, Washington. She was inspired by Anna Jarvis’s efforts to establish Mother's Day. Although she initially suggested June 5, her father's birthday, she did not provide the organizers with enough time to make arrangements, and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday of June.
Unofficial support from such figures as William Jennings Bryan was immediate and widespread. President Woodrow Wilson was personally feted by his family in 1916. President Calvin Coolidge recommended it as a national holiday in 1924. In 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson made Father's Day a holiday to be celebrated on the third Sunday of June. The holiday was not officially recognized until 1972, during the presidency of Richard Nixon.
In recent years, retailers have adapted to the holiday by promoting greeting cards and traditionally male-oriented gifts such as electronics and tools. Schools and other children's programs commonly have activities to make Father's Day gifts.
More phone calls are made in the United States during Mother's Day than during Father's Day, but the percentage of collect calls on Father's Day is much higher, making it the busiest day of the year for collect calls. Also, calls during both Mother's Day and Father's Day tend to last longer.
Father's Day is accompanied by a smaller total number of phone calls, greeting cards and gifts than Mother's Day. It is speculated that this is due to the greater number of households with a mother than households with a father (due to single mothers), to the greater role of mothers in unpaid household labor, and to different personal or societal expectations.