As we prepare to celebrate dads this Sunday, let’s take a look back to how it all got started. Did you know Father’s Day began at the YMCA? It was founded in Spokane, WA, at the YMCA in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd, whose father, William Jackson Smart, had raised six children on his own.
After hearing a sermon about Mother’s Day, Dodd told her pastor that fathers should have a similar holiday honoring them. Although she initially suggested June 5, her father’s birthday, the pastors did not have enough time to prepare their sermons, and the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday of June.
In 1972, President Nixon recognized Father’s Day as an official holiday. Looking for a good way to spend some quality time with your dad this Father’s Day? How about a game of pickup basketball at the Y or a day spent at one of our 36 sparkling pools? You could even give the gift of lifelong health and wellness through a Y membership or sessions with a personal trainer. No matter how you celebrate, the Y thanks and salutes all dads. You help make us who we are!