The National Legion a Brief History
A group of twenty officers who served in the American Expeditionary Forces (A.E.F.) in France in World War 1 are credited with planning the Legion. A.E.F. Headquarters asked these officers to suggest ideas on how to improve troop morale. One officer, Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., proposed an organization of veterans. In February, 1919, this group formed a temporary committee, and selected several hundred officers who had the confidence and respect of the whole army.
Then the first organization meeting took place in Paris in March, 1919, about 1000 officers and enlisted men attended. The meeting, known as the Paris Caucus, adopted a temporary constitution and the name "The American Legion." It also elected an executive committee to complete the organization work. It considered each soldier of the A.E.F. a member of the Legion. The executive committee named a subcommittee to organize veterans at home in the U.S.
The Legion held a second organizing caucus in St. Louis, MO in May, 1919. It completed the constitution and made plans for a permanent organization. It set up temporary headquarters in NY,NY and began its relief, employment and Americanism programs.
The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic, mutual-help war-time veteran’s organization. The American Legion is a community-service organization which now numbers nearly 3 million members – men and woman – nearly 15,000 American Legion Posts worldwide. These posts are organized into 55 Departments – one each for the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, France, Mexico and the Philippines. Our local Post 13 was founded in 1919.
THE AMERICAN LEGION NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS
The American Legion's National Headquarters is in Indianapolis, Indiana, with additional offices in Washington, DC. In addition thousands of volunteers serving in leadership and program implementation capacities in local communities to the Legion's standing national commissions and communities, the National Orginization has a regular ful
National Headquarters Indianapolis Office
700 North Pennsylvania St.
P.O. Box 1055
Indianapolis, IN 46206
(We hope to add our own post history for American Legion Post #21 Veterans Club - McMinnville, Oregon to this space. Our post was also chartered in 1920.)