There are different set of beliefs that run along the question, "When was the first Father's Day celebrated?" According to scholars, the origin of Father's Day may be traced back to Babylonian ruins when nearly 4000 years ago, a young boy named Elmesu carved a Father's Day message on a card made of clay. Through that card, Elmesu wished his father good health and a long life. However, no records exist to validate what happened to Elmesu and his father, but it's believed that Father's Day was acknowledged in several countries of the world years later.
It was in US though, from where the modern form of Father's Day originated. On 5 July 1908, the first observance of Father's Day took place. The reason for this can be traced back to 6 December 1907 when 210 fathers lost their lives in Monongah mining mishap in West Virginia. To honor them and her father, who was one of the 210 deceased, Mrs. Grace Golden Clayton organized the first ever Father's Day in Fairmont, West Virginia. However, following other important events in the city, her efforts somehow got overshadowed and since the city did not officially register the day and it was not celebrated there again.
A few years later, tides once again turned in favor of Father's Day when in the year 1910, Sonora Smart Dodd gained support of the Spokane Ministerial Association and Young Men Christian Association and celebrated the first Father's Day on 19 June in Spokane, Washington. It was to honor the ceaseless, sacrificial, and loving efforts of her father, William Jackson Smart, who, after his wife passed away while giving birth to their sixth child, took care of his children, including a newborn. In the eyes of Sonora, her dad was nothing less than a superhero. The event had been unofficially registered in the minds of the locals and those with authority.
Thereon, although with little hesitation, every third Sunday of June went on to be celebrated as Father's Day in the state of Washington and soon in many other parts of the country too. A few years had passed in between when other states and organizations started lobbying the Congress to declare Father's Day as an annual day to honor the loving fathers across the nation. A few presidents and nearly four decades later, in 1966, it was President Lyndon who declared Father's Day to be an official National Holiday and in 1972, President Richard Nixon signed for the permanent law for Father's Day to be observed on the third Sunday of June, every year.
While the first two incidents did play their part, and played them well, in at least bringing up a thought for a day for the loving fathers to be honored; it was Sonora Smart Dodd's quest that won the fathers a day for their parental acknowledgement. Although truth to the core may be difficult to find; it won't be totally wrong to speculate if the 1907 incident had inspired Sonora Smart Dodd to take a stand. And as far as history goes down in the books, the credit for the first Father's Day that remained in the minds of the people, will actually go down to Sonora Smart for her valiant efforts in making this day a permanent one and letting the entire world thank and convey their love for their respected fathers.
Click to read about when was the first Father's Day celebrated and how it evolved into the present day Father's Day.