History of The American Legion History of Post 165 Past Commanders and Post Everlasting

Histories and Purpose of

The American Legion,
The American Legion Auxiliary,
and
Sons of the American Legion


The American Legion

Ohio was represented officially by 15 men at the historic Paris Caucus at which The American Legion was founded, March 15-17, 1919. One of these, Ralph D. Cole of Findlay, served on the three-man committee which organized the caucus. With the return of Ohio's 37th Division late in March, 1919, interest in the proposed organization increased. It was then that Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., temporary chairman of the Legion in the United States, appointed a committee for the organization of Ohio.

Ohio was represented by 39 delegates at the St. Louis Caucus, May 8-10, 1919, at which the name "The American Legion" was finally adopted and the framework of the new organization established. On May 15, 1919, the State of Ohio issued a corporate charter to the Ohio Legion and it set up its first headquarters in the statehouse in an area that now is part of the governor's office suite. Later it was moved into a larger room in the House of Representatives area.

Charters were granted to 189 Posts in 78 counties prior to the first convention. The paid-up membership just before the first state convention, held in Columbus on October 8 and 9, 1919, was 11,604. The returning legislature in January, 1920, forced Legion headquarters out of the statehouse, and space was rented on South High Street in Columbus. The organization at the time was practically broke, but gaining recognition.

Today, after over a half of a century, highlighted by especially sound fiscal management during the past three decades, the Ohio Legion is financially stable, owns its headquarters in Columbus, boasts over 150,000 members in 618 Posts throughout the state, and is continuing to grow in numbers and influence.

The American Legion Auxiliary

In this world of ours, the American Legion Auxiliary shines as an example of unselfish giving. With almost a million members from all walks of life, the Auxiliary administers hundreds of volunteer programs, gives tens of thousands of hours to its communities and to veterans, and raises millions of dollars to support its own programs as well as other worthwhile charities familiar to most Americans. It is all accomplished with volunteers.

The Auxiliary, organized in 1919 to assist The American Legion, is much more than the name implies. The organization has achieved its own unique identity while working side-by-side with the veterans who belong to The American Legion. Like the Legion, the Auxiliary's interests have broadened to encompass the entire community.

The American Legion Auxiliary is the world's largest women's patriotic service organization. Through its nearly 10,500 Units located in every state and some foreign countries, the Auxiliary embodies the spirit of America that has prevailed through war and peace. Along with The American Legion, it sollidly stands behind America and her ideals.

The Junior Auxiliary members of the American Legion Auxiliary are the future of our organization. Leadership depends upon knowledge and understanding. Our Junior members do not form a separate organization, but are active members of the American Legion Auxiliary. They are grouped separately merely because it has been found that they require programs at their own age level.

Auxiliary Purpose:  "Service, Not Self," has been the Auxiliary motto for over 85 years. The members are dedicated women of all ages working unselfishly together for our veterans, their families, children and our community.

The establishment of an Auxiliary to The American Legion was provided for by the first National Convention of The American Legion in 1919. The first national Convention of the Auxiliary was held in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1921. At the time the name "American Legion Auxiliary" was adopted and the first national officers elected. The first National President was Edith Hobart from Milford, OH.

The organization has one great purpose - "to contribute to the accomplishment of the aims and purposes of The American Legion." Our major activity is built around our veterans. But, our service does not stop there. We are involved in children and youth and community service activities.

The Auxiliary is working to keep patriotism a part of the education of every child, a patriotism that teaches love of America through knowledge of the people who made it great. We strive to educate the public in the four principles of Justice, Freedom, Democracy and Loyalty that have been our guides over the years. It endeavors to bring to Americans a fuller realization of their responsibilities as citizens do.

Sons of The American Legion
The Sons of The American Legion was created in 1932 as an organization within The American Legion. The S.A.L. is made up of boys and men of all ages whose parents or grandparents served in the United States military and became eligible for membership in The American Legion. Together, members of The American Legion, The American Legion Auxiliary and the Sons of The American Legion make up what is known as The Legion Family. All three organizations place high importance on preserving our American traditions and values, improving the quality of life for our nation's children, caring for veterans and their families, and perhaps most importantly, teaching the fundamentals of good citizenship.

S.A.L. Purpose:  The mission of the Sons is to support veterans and their families and the policies of our parent organization, The American Legion. Virtually everything that involves the Sons could be grouped under three areas: 1) support for veterans and their families, 2) promoting patriotism and Americanism and 3) promoting programs which benefit the youth of our country.


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