The first formal "Father's Day" was celebrated JUNE 19, 1910. It began in Spokane, Washington, when a woman named Sonora Louise Smart Dodd heard a Mother's Day sermon at church. She wanted to honor her father, who raised six children by himself after his wife died. Sonora drew up a petition that was supported by the Young Men's Christian Association and the ministers of Spokane In 1972, President Nixon established Father's Day as a permanent national observance. On Father's Day, 1988, President Ronald Reagan stated: "Children, vulnerable and dependent, desperately need security, and it has ever been a duty and a joy of fatherhood to offer it. Being a father requires strength in many ways...and more than a little persevere, to fight discouragement, and to keep working for the family." Reagan continued: "In that strength, and with God's grace, fathers find the patience to teach, the fortitude to provide, the compassion to comfort, and the mercy to forgive. All of this is to say that they find the strength to love their wives and children selflessly." President Reagan concluded: "Let us each take this occasion to express our thanks and affection to our fathers, whether we can do so in person or in prayer."