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June 16, 2014

A short history of Father's Day

(Continued)

COMMERCE —

The event began to founder in the 1920s and 30s, however, when Dodd left Spokane to study in Chicago. A group also arose wanting to abolish both Mother’s and Father’s Day in preference to a Parent’s Day, which the group thought would be a day to honor both men and women.

But the commercialism of the two days foiled the group’s efforts, coupled with Dodd’s return to Spokane in the mid ‘30s with a passion to promote the event anew. 

Dodd used commercialism in her favor, lobbying trade groups who would benefit from the day’s spike in sales for traditional gifts for fathers. 

The day had a renewed sense of vigor, especially among women, when World War II broke out, sending more than 16 million American men to war. 

With the average soldier away from their family for 16 months, advertisers used it to compare the day with honoring the troops and supporting the war effort.  

The day still wasn’t declared a national holiday, but it was supported in unison across the nation.

Dodd still supported the day throughout her life, and lived to see it become a national holiday in 1972. 

Dodd was even honored herself in the 1974 Spokane World’s Fair for her efforts in bringing about the celebration of the day.

Four years later, Dodd died at the age of 96, knowing her efforts to honor her father would not soon be forgotten.

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