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(Washington, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and U.S. Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-5) introduced a resolution recognizing the 100th anniversary of Father’s Day, which was first celebrated in Spokane, Washington on June 20, 1910. The resolution also recognizes the important role that fathers play in the lives of their children and establishes 2010 as The Year of the Father.

“My dad played such an important role in my family’s life, and fathers everywhere deserve to be recognized and celebrated,” said Senator Patty Muray. “I want to congratulate Spokane on the 100th Anniversary of their first Father’s Day. And I am proud to stand with my colleagues to declare 2010 as the ‘Year of the Father.’”

“Good and loving parenting pays dividends over the course of a lifetime, and Father’s Day, a gift to the nation from Washington state, is one way we recognize that truth,” Senator Maria Cantwell said. “It was my own father’s steadfast and selfless service to members of our community that inspired me to pursue my passion and life direction in public service. I am proud to observe the 100th Anniversary of Father’s Day in Washington state and fittingly dedicate this year to all fathers across our great nation.”

“As the Representative from Spokane, I’m very proud of our city’s achievement as the place where Father’s Day was founded one hundred years ago,” said Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers. “Our resolution will celebrate that anniversary and recognize all the fathers out there – including my own dad – who serve as role models and set a positive example for all of us.” 

The full text of the resolution follows:

United States Senate and House of Representatives Resolution – Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Recognizing the important role that fathers play in the lives of their children and families and establishing 2010 as The Year of the Father

Whereas, Father’s Day was founded in 1910 by Mrs. John B. Dodd after attending a Mother’s Day celebration in1909 and believing that fathers should receive the same recognition

Whereas Mrs. John B. Dodd, Sonora Smart Dodd, founded the day in celebration of her father, William Smart;

Whereas William Smart, a Civil War veteran, raised six children on his own after the death of his wife;

Whereas Spokane, Washington recognized and hosted the first celebration of Father’s Day on June 19, 1910

Whereas in 1924, President Calvin Coolidge recognized Father’s Day and urged states to follow suit;

Whereas in 1966, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed a proclamation calling for the third Sunday in June to be recognized as Father’s Day and requested that flags be flown that day on all government buildings;

Whereas President Richard Nixon signed a proclamation in 1972 permanently observing Father’s Day on the third Sunday in June;

Whereas Father’s Day is celebrated in over 50 countries around the world;

Whereas there are an estimated 64.3 million fathers around the nation today;

Whereas it is well documented that children involved with loving fathers are significantly more likely to have healthy self-esteems, exhibit empathy and pro-social behavior, avoid high risk behaviors, reduce anti-social behavior and delinquency in boys, have better peer relationships, and have higher occupational mobility relative to parents;

Whereas fathers who live with their children are likely to have a close, enduring relationship with their children than those who do not;

Whereas the 100th anniversary of Father’s Day will be celebrated in Spokane, Washington on June 20, 2010;

Be it resolved that Congress recognizes the important role that fathers play in the lives of their children and families and establishes 2010 as The Year of the Father.