The American Legion was organized in 1919 after World War I. It became an influential veterans organization, congressionally chartered, to help benefit those who had served in the military. By 1921 the Legion claimed 347 posts with 22,098 members in Kansas. The men's organization introduced Boys State as its philanthropic project. Women formed an auxiliary to the Legion and eventually developed Girls State.
On Armistice Day, November 11, 1923, Legionnaires participated in the dedication of a monument honoring Shawnee County citizens who lost their lives during the war. Markers of this type were placed near each county line crossed by the Victory Highway (U. S. 40).
Kansan Harry W. Colmery served as the American Legion national commander from 1936-1937. The Legion grew after World War II veterans supported the organization. The organization helped prepare the original draft and campaigned for the G.I. Bill of Rights, which became law in 1944.
Entry: American Legion
Author: Kansas Historical Society
Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.
Date Created: February 2011
Date Modified: May 2012
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