My name is Lee Wilson Jr., and I am the historian for Owen Coffman American Legion Post 519 in Palm Springs, Calif. On the 72nd anniversary of the opening of Post 519, we dedicated a new historic plaque to replace our old one (which was stolen). Many local officials and dignitaries participated in the event. We received several proclamations for our event, including one from the city, the California State Senate and the office of Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz.
Founded in 1934, Post 519's own War Memorial Building was dedicated on Jan. 3, 1948. Our post was designed by legendary Palm Springs architects John Clark and Albert Frey, well known for their "Modern" architecture around Palm Springs. Moreover, from 1948-1954, during the twilight era of radio, dozens of the biggest names in Hollywood played our stage to nationally broadcast shows on the CBS and NBC networks including Bob Hope, Jerry Colonna, Al Jolson, Doris Day, Judy Garland, Groucho Marx, Cary Grant, Jack Benny, Cary Grant and many others. Afterwards, we held an "open house" showing off our legendary architecture, stage and fully restored radio room. Our long-term goal is to fully restore our post to its 1948 glory with a USO theme from the 1940s. This will take time and lots of money, but by opening up more to our community and showing off what we have to offer, we hope that this will become a reality. Please visit us, and stay tuned.
See more images from the event on Legiontown.