On March 15th, The American Legion celebrated its 104th birthday. Across the nation, American Legion posts commemorated the day with a variety of events.
That included members of Arthur T. Peterson Post 136 in Chester, S.D., who make it a tradition to celebration The American Legion birthday at their March meeting.
Post 136 member and U.S. Air Force veteran Courtney Steffen took to Facebook to share a photo of her and fellow members of Post 136 holding a birthday cake. With the photo, Steffen – who currently serves as the service officer in the Brookings County Veterans Service Office – offered a poignant salute to The American Legion:
Happy 104th Birthday, American Legion!
Here’s to the organization that gave me back the camaraderie I missed after leaving the military; who gave me purpose in serving my community and fellow Veterans; who amplifies my voice to those in Congress; and who reminds me to be proud of my service.
The Legion has become such a wonderful part of my world, and I’m glad for it. From the people I’ve met to the job I love, I can thank the Legion. Happy birthday, Legion Family!
The following are a few more examples of how American Legion posts celebrated the organization’s 104th birthday. You can continue to upload your American Legion birthday stories – and all of your Legion Family stories – at Legiontown.org.
In Yuma, H.H. Donkersley Post 19 celebrated with its annual Birthday Ball; the event also coincided with the post’s 100th birthday later in the month. The event started with a past commanders' luncheon in the afternoon, followed by evening events that included a dinner, the post’s annual awards presentations and a live band. American Legion Family department leadership also were in attendance.
In Alturas, American Legion Post 163 celebrated The American Legion's 104th birthday with a chicken dinner, cake and silent auction. Many local businesses provided support for the event.
In Marshall, Clark County American Legion Post 90 celebrated the birthday with a meal, while Post Historian Steve Arney provided a history of the post. After a cake cutting, a live band provided entertainment the remainder of the evening.
In Derby, Post 408’s American Legion Family’s 104th birthday party included recognizing the Derby Police Department and Haysville Police Department Officers of the Year, and Derby Fire and Rescue Firefighter of the Year. Other awards also were presented at the event, which was attended by Haysville Mayor Russ Keefer.
Malta Bend Post 558’s birthday celebration included a dinner, the presentation of membership and blood donor awards, a cake cutting ceremony and a remembrance of the members who were lost over the past year. More than 60 members and guests attended the event.
In Bennington, members of Post 266 celebrated the birthday with a lunch and an awards ceremony.
American Legion Post 22 in Rapid City used the 104th American Legion birthday as an opportunity to recognize outstanding community members, including the firefighter, law enforcement and Legionnaire of the year. The post also recognized its "Mr. Americanism", Alex Vonderau, for winning both the post’s Boys State and Oratorical scholarships. The post also recognized Past Post Commander Duane Fink for his generosity and contributions to making the home with renovations.
Post 133’s American Legion Family in Temple celebrated the 104th birthday with an open house for all local area veterans and members of Post 133. Department of Texas Adjutant William West was the guest speaker and talked about the history of the Legion and its accomplishments over the past 104 years. In conjunction with the open house was the dedication of two newly installed flagpoles in front of the post. Also attending the open house were Department of Texas Vice Commander Tom Marty, Department Treasurer Steve Cook, candidate for Department Commander Gene Toohey and several veterans from the local community.
Stafford American Legion Post 290 celebrated the Legion’s birthday with a catered dinner by Mission BBQ, with a cake prepared by Auxiliary Unit 290 member Candy Schultz. During the event, Brian “BJ” Payne was named Legionnaire of the Year. Dr. Sandra “Sonnie” Dickerson, the leading candidate for department commander in 2023-2024, served as the guest speaker. Post 290 was chartered in 1946 and the Auxiliary was chartered in 1948.
· Hancock/Coloma/Plainfield American Legion Auxiliary Unit 343 again served The American Legion’s Birthday Annual Corned Beef and Cabbage Dinner.
· In Darlington, American Legion Post 214 hosted a birthday celebration that included remarks from American Legion Past National Vice and current Post 214 Commander Dave Gough. Also addressing attendees were District Commander Jerry Hook, as well as the Badger Boys, Oratorical Contest winner and current Badger Girls registrant.