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by Abigail Van Buren

Origin of Father's Day Is One Daughter's Love

DEAR ABBY: My daughter recently asked me if I knew how Father's Day originated. I have been unable to locate any information about it. Abby, do you happen to know how and when Father's Day started? -- IRENE L. IN DENVER

DEAR IRENE: Father's Day was the brainchild of Sonora Louise Smart Dodd (1882-1978), a resident of Spokane, Wash. When Sonora was 16, her mother passed away, leaving Sonora's father, William Jackson Smart, with the responsibility of raising their six children.

After listening to a sermon on Mother's Day in 1910, she mentioned to the speaker that she liked everything he had said about motherhood, but somehow fatherhood seemed something apart. "Do you not think it would be fair and fine to give fathers a place in the sun?" she asked.

The speaker, Dr. Henry Rasmus, agreed. At the next meeting of local ministers at Spokane's YMCA building on June 6, 1910, Mrs. Dodd presented a petition requesting that the third Sunday in June be set aside as a national "Father's Day." It was endorsed by the ministers, and came to the attention of such national figures as William Jennings Bryan and Woodrow Wilson. Both heartily supported it.

In 1914, Congress endorsed Father's Day, and in 1971 a proclamation by President Richard M. Nixon established Father's Day as a national observance.

DEAR ABBY: My husband (I'll call him Dan) is 65. I am 57. We've been married two and a half years. It's the second marriage for both of us. (We were divorced when we met.)

Dan's son is to be married in three months. I've recently learned that Dan's ex-wife has dictated that I am not to be invited to the wedding. Dan is paying for some of the wedding expenses, which is fine with me, but I am heartsick that I will be excluded.

Dan says he is in the middle, yet he has said nothing to them. His comment to me was, "Well, I can't help who they invite."

Abby, I had nothing to do with Dan's divorce -- in fact, his ex divorced HIM. I have been on friendly terms with both Dan's son and his fiancee, and I feel really hurt over being excluded.

Am I wrong to feel this way? And shouldn't Dan have spoken up for me when he learned of his son's wedding plans? -- LEFT OUT

DEAR LEFT OUT: Your husband should have made it plain when he was invited that you should be invited as well. You are not wrong to feel hurt.

DEAR READERS: Today is Father's Day, and I offer good wishes not only to fathers everywhere, but also to those caring individuals who are donating time and energy to mentor young men whose fathers are absent or deceased.

A gift suggestion that is guaranteed to make a big hit with every man who has ever fathered a child is one that doesn't cost a dime: Sit down and write your dad a letter, telling him how much he has meant to you over the years. Tell him how much you love him and why. If you do, I promise you that it will mean more to him than any gift you could buy. Trust me.

Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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