Like Father, Like Son
Smoking as a Family Tradition
This exhibition recalls an era not very long ago when a son giving his dad a gift of a carton of cigarettes was as American as apple pie. The first celebration of a day to honor fathers took place in Spokane, Washington YMCA on June 19, 1910, at the urging of Sonora Smart, whose father had raised her and five siblings. In the 1930s she began promoting the idea across the country–with the assistance of the manufacturers of ties, pipes, and other traditional gifts for dads. By the 1940s, the tobacco industry was encouraging wives and children to give dad a carton of cigarettes for Father’s Day. In 1966, President Lyndon Baines Johnson issued a proclamation designating the third Sunday in June as Father’s Day. (Source: The 1995 book Consumer Rites: The Buying & Selling of American Holidays by Leigh Eric Schmidt).