I just got this from Ann Landers. I knew she would have it.
Annie's Mailbox : Monday, June 16 2003
Dear Readers: Today is Father's Day. The origins of the national observance are credited to Sonora Smart Dodd of Spokane, Wash. Mrs. Dodd wanted a way to honor her father, William (Henry) Jackson Smart, a Civil War veteran who raised his six children after their mother died. In 1909, Mrs. Dodd asked her minister to have a special service dedicated to fathers in June, near the date of her father's birthday. The idea caught on, and in 1924, President Calvin Coolidge made Father's Day a national event. In 1972, President Richard Nixon established a permanent national observance on the third Sunday in June.
Mrs. Dodd also advocated the idea of wearing red roses for those who have living fathers, and white roses for those whose fathers are deceased. In 1924, a Pennsylvanian Bible class selected the dandelion instead, saying, "the more it is trampled on, the more it grows."