Sen. Mike Bernskoetter’s Legislative Column for June 17, 2021

Celebrating Father’s Day

This weekend, we set aside time to honor the men who have played important roles in our lives. Whether he is a father, uncle, grandpa or a family friend, these individuals have served as role models and have made positive differences in our lives. Father’s Day provides us with an opportunity to recognize them and all that they do.

Father’s Day actually traces its roots back to a holiday honoring another beloved family member: Mother’s Day. As the story goes, Sonora Smart Dodd came up with the idea of designating a day just for dear old dad during a Mother’s Day sermon in 1909. Dodd’s mother died during childbirth, leaving her to be raised by her father, William Jackson Smart, a single parent and a Civil War veteran. Seeing her father’s courage and his devotion to his children, Dodd wanted to pay tribute to her father and others like him. She started circulating a petition and quickly garnered the support of the local ministerial association, the YMCA, businesses and other organizations. A special Father’s Day church service was then held in Spokane, Washington, on that third Sunday of June in 1910 – the first of its kind in the country.

The idea of Father’s Day grew popular and soon spread from there. For instance, the governor of Washington went on to issue a special proclamation to celebrate Father’s Day in the state. President Woodrow Wilson even visited Spokane in 1916 to celebrate the occasion, and Pres. Calvin Coolidge urged states across the country to observe the day in 1924. Nearly 50 years later, in 1972, Father’s Day became an official holiday in the U.S. Today, Father’s Day is celebrated in places throughout the world in recognition of the important role father figures play in our lives.

No matter how you spend your Father’s Day, I hope you let the father figure in your life know how much he means to you. I wish all my fellow fathers out there a safe and happy Father’s Day.

As always, it is an honor to serve the 6th Senatorial District. If my office can be service to you, please feel free to contact us at (573) 751-2076. For information about my committee assignments or sponsored legislation, please visit my official Missouri Senate website at