Census Bureau provides Father's Day info

June 19, 2011 at 9:59 AM
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WASHINGTON, June 19 (UPI) -- A Washington woman created Father's Day more than a century ago to honor her widowed dad who raised six children, the U.S. Census Bureau says.

Sonora Dodd of Spokane, Wash., came up with the idea of Father's Day while she listened to a Mother's Day sermon in 1909, the Census Bureau said.

President Lyndon Johnson designated the third Sunday in June as Father's Day in 1966 and it has been celebrated annually since 1972 when President Richard Nixon signed the law that made it a permanent holiday, the Census Bureau said.

Of the 70 million fathers in the United States, 25.3 million were married with children under 18 in 2010. Slightly more than 20 percent of fathers were raising three or more children younger than 18 while single fathers comprised about 15 percent of single parents, numbering 1.8 million.

The Census Bureau said 46 percent of fathers were divorced, while 30 percent were never married. Nineteen percent were separated, while 6 percent were widowed.

Nearly 40 percent of fathers reported an annual family income of $50,000 or more.

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