How many years passed between the formation of The American Legion and the Auxiliary?
Zero. The American Legion Auxiliary was recognized as an organization in Article XIII of the Legion’s Constitution, adopted at the first National Convention in Minneapolis, 1919. The organizing committee of The American Legion decided to build the Auxiliary from the ground up, to carry forward the phases of Legion activities more suitably (as went the thinking at the time) performed by women – to both support the Legion in its activities and to conduct activities of its own, parallel and separate alike.
In less than a year, more than 1,300 local Auxiliary units were formed across the country. The second year, 1920, focused on organizing departments. Pauline Curnack, who worked for the Legion and was in charge of organizing the former into the latter, would later become the Auxiliary’s first national secretary. This work progressed well enough that the Auxiliary had its first national convention in November 1921 in Kansas City, Mo., alongside the Legion’s third national convention. The two organizations’ conventions occur during the same timeframe, in the same city, to this day. Edith (Mrs. Lowell S., Sr.) Hobart of Ohio was elected the first national president.
Today, the Auxiliary boasts a membership of nearly 800,000 and continues the tradition of supporting the Legion and its principles – from the parallel Girls State and Girls Nation, to VA volunteer programs and a separate Poppy Program.