Adjutant's Updates

This Week in The American Legion History

Here’s the week in American Legion history:

  • Nov. 1, 1921: The American Legion helps dedicate the towering Liberty Memorial in Kansas City during the organization’s third national convention. Kansas City is an early stop in the Allied Victory Tour across the United States with Gen. Ferdinand Foch of France. Joining The American Legion at the convention, the dedication ceremony and for portions of the U.S. tour, in addition to Foch, are Gens. John Pershing of the United States and Armando Diaz of Italy, as well as Adm. David Beatty of Great Britain. President Calvin Coolidge attends the ceremony in Kansas City. During its national convention there, The American Legion establishes the Distinguished Service Medal, and presents it to Foch, Diaz, Beatty, Lt. Gen. Baron Jacques of Belgium and M. Charles Bertrand of France, president of the Inter-Allied Veterans Association.

 

  • Nov. 1, 1947: The American Legion Child Welfare Committee is elevated to commission status. 
  • Nov. 2, 1921: The first American Legion Auxiliary National Convention concludes  in Kansas City. 
  • Nov. 2, 1976: Jimmy Carter, a member of Americus, Ga., American Legion Post 2, 1946 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and officer at the beginning of the U.S. nuclear submarine program in the 1950s, is elected to serve as the 39th President of the United States. 
  • Nov. 3, 1949: Newly elected American Legion National Commander George N. Craig’s homecoming event in Brazil, Ind., (population 9,000 at the time) includes a parade that extends six miles in length and draws more than 30,000 visitors. The event gives Commander Craig a national media stage to promote the Legion’s community-improvement “Build America Plan.” Craig, the first national commander whose service came entirely during World War II, is honored by Gov. Henry F. Schricker who proclaims Nov. 3 as George N. Craig Day. 
  • Nov. 4, 1980: Ronald Reagan, a U.S. Army Air Forces veteran during World War II and a member of Palisades American Legion Post 283 in Pacific Palisades, Calif., is elected 40th president of the United States. He goes on to serve two terms and leads the United States through the heart of the Cold War, a mission that culminates with the tearing down of the Berlin Wall in 1987. 
  • Nov. 5, 1968: Richard M. Nixon, a U.S. Navy and Naval Reserve veteran of more than 20 years who served in the Pacific Theater of World War II and eventually retired as a lieutenant commander, is elected 37th president of the United States. A member of Whittier, Calif., American Legion Post 51, he is a frequent speaker at national American Legion conventions and events through his years of political office. He is now the namesake of American Legion Post 679 in Yorba Linda, Calif., which meets at the Richard M. Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, on the same property as Nixon’s childhood home. 
  • Nov. 7, 2000: Texas and Alabama Air National Guard veteran George W. Bush is elected 43rd president of the United States. A member of John R. Burkett-Beverly E. Miller American Legion Post 77 in Houston, he leads within his first year the nation’s military response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and serves as commander-in-chief for Operations Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Iraqi Freedom in Iraq. 
  • Nov. 8, 1944: Germans seize, pillage and set ablaze the French town of St. Die-des-Vosges, where a delegation of 200 Legionnaires had unveiled a plaque in 1921 commemorating the place where the term “America” was first published on a map in 1507. A week after the German rampage six months before the end of World War II, American troops arrived to find the ruins, followed later by many of the women and children of the town who had been left homeless and were starving. Upon learning this, American Legion posts and units throughout the United States collect hundreds of packages of food, clothing and supplies and ship it urgently to the town. 
  • Nov. 8, 2002: The American Legion launches the “I Am Not a Number” campaign to collect testimonies from veterans waiting long periods of time for VA health-care appointments and benefits decisions. More than 5,000 personal testimonials pour into National Headquarters, and their accounts help launch the national System Worth Saving program.
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