Catching up on and looking ahead at American Legion history:
June 30, 1930: American Legion Memorial Bridge is completed in Traverse City, Mich., crossing the Boardman River. It is placed on the National Registry of Historic Places in 2000.
June 30, 1946: Omaha, Neb., American Legion Post 1 achieves a membership of 22,966, believed to be the largest local post in the history of the organization. Lincoln, Neb., Post 3 hits an all-time high of 9,287 the same year, also among the biggest local posts of the Legion’s first century.
June 30, 2008: President George W. Bush signs into law the Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008.
July 1, 1931: Membership in The American Legion breaks 1 million for the first time.
July 1, 1946: American Legion membership hits a national all-time high of 3,326,556.
July 2, 1937: The American Legion fights for, and gets, approval for 24-hour guarding of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. The “sentinels” of the tomb are members of the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, known as “The Old Guard,” which originated in the Revolutionary War. From midnight July 2, 1937, through today, the tomb is continuously guarded, regardless of conditions.
July 4, 1919: Issue 1, No. 1 of The American Legion Weekly magazine is published. The introductory column is written by Gen. John “Black Jack” Pershing. George A. White, one of the four officers who met with Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., in January to begin plans for the organization, is identified as founder of the publication. “The Legion is destined to be of tremendous value in fostering the ideals and purposes for which we fought,” Pershing writes in the original issue.