Oct. 15, 1926: The team from American Legion Cook Post 321 of Yonkers, NY, defeats Pocatello, Idaho, by a score of 23-6 in the first American Legion Baseball World Series in Philadelphia. More than 1,100 spectators attend. The cost of running the world series, however, leads to a two-year hiatus until adequate funding can be obtained.
Oct. 15, 1926: At the 8th American Legion National Convention in Philadelphia, Gen. John “Black Jack” Pershing and Marshal Ferdinand Foch of France receive an honor bestowed upon no one else – election as honorary commander of The American Legion. “Legionnaires, it is a great pleasure to be here, and I want you all to know you can always count on me as one of you, as standing shoulder to shoulder, as we did together during the war,” Pershing tells the crowd after receiving the recognition.
Oct. 15, 1953: An American Legion committee is approved to study the feasibility of a special fund for children’s programs after former American Legion Department of Arkansas Commander Dr. Garland Murphy, Jr., offers to the national organization fractional rights to 10,000 acres of oil-rich land he owns in the Williston Basin of Montana and North Dakota. In return, Murphy asks that proceeds from the contribution be used solely to serve children. Out of this contribution is born the American Legion’s Child Welfare Foundation.
Oct. 16, 1989: After years of intense lobbying from The American Legion, the U.S. Court of Veterans Appeals is established to give veterans disputing their federal benefits decisions a place in the federal judiciary to have their cases heard and decided.
Oct. 16, 2015: Embattled VA Under Secretary for Benefits Brig. Gen. (ret.) Allison Hickey resigns from her position after an Inspector General’s report says she helped two employees manipulate the VA hiring system for personal gain.
Oct. 17, 1923: The American Legion National Convention in San Francisco passes a resolution (still in effect) that expresses its firm support of equal rights and opportunities “without distinction as to race, color, creed or class.” The resolution, which also condemns any individual, group or organization that “creates or fosters racial, religious or class strife among our people, or which takes into their own hands the enforcement of law, determination of guilt, or infliction of punishment, to be un-American, a menace to our liberties and destructive to our fundamental law.”
Oct. 17, 2012: Theodore Roosevelt IV, grandson of American Legion founding member Theodore Roosevelt Jr., is named chairman of the organization’s 100th Anniversary Honorary Committee.