This week in American Legion history:
- Oct. 6-9, 1930: In a written report to the 12th National Convention of The American Legion in Boston, newly appointed National Marksmanship Director Frank J. Schneller of Wisconsin says 188 American Legion rifle clubs have been organized and chartered, including 77 in 1930 alone, with programs in all but 17 departments.
- Oct. 7, 2009: The American Legion’s Burn Pit blog site receives an email from one survivor from a deadly Oct. 3 ambush at Combat Outpost Keating in Afghanistan’s remote Nuristan province. The soldier, Bravo Troop 361 Cavalry out of Fort Carson, Colo., reports that “most people back home don’t even know… no one gives a s#it” after he and 55 other survivors escaped with just their weapons and the clothes on their backs, having lost all of their personal belongings in the attack. Eight were killed. The Legion’s COP Keating Relief Fund raises more than $50,000 in less than a week, followed by $50,000 worth of laptop computers from Computer Science Corp., and $50,000 in gift cards and merchandise from Target Corp. The support items arrive in Afghanistan in time for Christmas.
- Oct. 8, 1925: Passed at the 7th American Legion National Convention in Omaha is a resolution calling for the national Americanism Commission to develop a plan to formalize a collaboration with the American Red Cross to provide natural disaster relief when and where needed. Posts nationwide by that time have already developed and begun executing disaster-relief programs of their own, often working with Red Cross.
- Oct. 9, 1985: The American Legion National Executive Committee passes Resolution 16 calling on the Department of Interior, Fine Arts Commission, National Capitol Planning Commission and all others to dedicate an area near the Vietnam War Memorial “to erect a statue honoring the women who have served during the Vietnam War.”
- Oct. 10, 2001: The American Legion National Executive Committees passes a resolution authorizing The American Legion Sept. 11 Memorial Scholarship Fund to provide college assistance for the children of American military personnel who have died on active military duty on or after Sept. 11, 2001.
- Oct. 11, 1919: SS American Legion, a 13.5-ton, 535-foot passenger and cargo vessel originally built to serve as a World War I troop-transport ship, is christened and launched, beginning 20 years of commercial service before a 1939 transfer to the War Department.
– Oct. 11, 1990: The American Legion Family Support Network is formed to provide local volunteer help for the families of military personnel deployed to Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm.