The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States was the first organization to promote a nationwide distribution of poppies assembled by disabled and need veterans.
To substantiate this claim, and to dispel any claim to the contrary the following chronological and documentary information is briefly outlined.
In 1921, the Franco-American Children's League conducted a nationwide distribution of Poppies made in France, for the benefit of children in the war-torn areas of France and Belgium. The inspiration came from Col. John McCrae's poem, "In Flanders Fields."
October 1921, the American Legion, at its convention in Kansas City, repudiated its action of 1920 in choosing the poppy as its official flower and substituted the daisy.
In May 1922, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States conducted a nationwide distribution of poppies made in France. This was after the dissolution of the Franco-American Children's League, and in response to an appeal by Madame Guerin, "the poppy lady from France."
In October 1922, following the first nationwide distribution of poppies by the VFW, the American Legion Convention repudiated the daisy as its official flower and again adopted the poppy.
In the spring of 1923, the American Legion conducted its first nationwide sale of poppies made by a French manufacturer.
In 1923, the VFW evolved the idea which resulted in the VFW "Buddy Poppy" fashioned by disabled and needy veterans who were paid for their work in assembling "Buddy" poppies. In February 1924, the VFW registered the name "Buddy" Poppy with the U.S. Patent Office, and still holds all trademark rights in the name "Buddy" under the classification of artificial flowers.
Since May 1924, the VFW has annually conducted a "Buddy" Poppy campaign.
Remember this as members of VFW Post 3388 and its Ladies Auxiliary distribute Buddy Poppies in Estherville Thursday and Friday, Aug. 16-17.