At The American Legion's 1945 convention, Past National Commander Roane Waring said Stimson was widely known as "a distinguished soldier of World War I, a cabinet member under three presidents and our wartime secretary in America's greatest crisis. But we of the Legion know and admire him well as a Legionnaire."
Accepting the award on Stimson's behalf, Undersecretary of War Gen. Kenneth C. Royall said his life and service to country would be an inspiration to future generations of Americans. Of the award, "since it comes from his fellow veterans of two world wars in defense of democracy, it will have a deep personal meaning," Royall said.
An accomplished statesman and conservative Republican, Stimson served as secretary of war for President Taft from 1911 to 1913, and asid governor general of the Philippines from 1927 to 1929.
He returned to Washington, where President Herbert Hoover appointed him secretary of state until 1933. By 1940, at 73, Stimson was back at the War Department, this time under President Roosevelt. Truman retained Stimson, who helped oversee development of the atomic bomb and the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
The Washington veteran died on Long Island, N.Y., in 1950, at 83. A submarine is named for him, as well as the Henry L. Stimson Center in Washington. A description on the research institute's Web site reads: "We take our name from him because of his lifelong support for pragmatic idealism and nonpartisan internationalism in U.S. foreign policy."
For more on Stimson, click here (www.nytimes.com/learning/general/onthisday/bday/0921.html).