Sgt. William H. Harrison

                                              American Legion, Post 190
                                              Portsmouth, VA 23704




On March 15 through 17, 1919, The American Legion was founded in Paris at the first caucus by members of the American Expeditionary Force.

On May 19, 1919 the caucus meeting in St. Louis adopted "The American Legion" as the organization's official name. The Legion's draft constitution was approved, and so was its preamble, which begins: "For God and Country, we associate ourselves together. . ." The preamble, with its heartfelt dedication to freedom and democracy, is still recited today at official gatherings of The American Legion.

On June 9, 1919, the National Executive Committee of The American Legion adopted the Legion Emblem, and on Sept. 16, 1919, the U.S. Congress chartered The American Legion.

This patriotic, mutual help and community service organization has a worldwide membership of nearly three million -- men and women -- in nearly 15,000 American Legion Posts worldwide. These Posts are organized into 55 Departments -- one each for the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, France, Mexico, and the Philippines. The Department of Virginia is comprised of 213 posts divided into 17 Districts (Post 190 is in the 2nd District), and Virginia currently has over 54,000 members. The Department Headquarters office is located in Richmond, VA.

The American Legion's National Headquarters is in Indianapolis,Indiana, with additional offices in Washington, DC. In addition to thousands of volunteers serving in leadership and program implementation capacities in local communities to the Legion's standing national commissions and committees, the national organization has a regular full-time staff of about 300 employees.