A look back at the American Legion
Today—September 16—is American Legion Day!
If one were to go over back issues of the Enquirer at the Department of Archives and History in Montgomery (as I have done page-by-page several times) one would find no community-oriented organization mentioned more frequently than the American Legion.
Following is just a small sampling of news stories from the Enquirer related to the Legion. Even though historically their primary orientation has been patriotic, with a strong encouragement for devotion to God and country, their activities in practice represent a great deal more in addition to this. The passing of members and its auxiliary has always evoked recognition of their service to their churches and to the community at large:
May 8, 1925–Major J. Fred Johnson, state commander the American Legion and assistant attorney general of Alabama, spoke to API students today. In part, he said: “Auburn men you are now preparing yourself for your life work and you can’t realize success without good habit formation.”
April 18, 1928–The American Legion and the Ladies’ Auxiliary announce that on national decoration day, May 30, a poppy sale will be held throughout Morgan County.
March 13, 1947–The month of March being membership month, the American Legion Post has set a goal of 500. Membership at present is 300. The Commander is Ed Summers.
May 8, 1947–One of the largest crowds of Hartselle veterans ever to gather at Cold Springs was there last Friday night for a period of fellowship. A good time get together was enjoyed by all. The Legion expects to build a new home in the near future. The site for the building has already been purchased four blocks north of Hartselle in the Turney Woods.
May 20, 1948–The bond-selling campaign of the Hartselle unit of the American Legion for the purpose of building an auditorium on the north Bee Line Highway is still under way. Members are going all out to make this community facility a reality.
Jan. 4, 1951—Townspeople currently are debating whether they ought to let Hartselle teens dance one night a week at the Legion hall. The Legionnaires are perfectly willing to make their home a place where youth may have recreation in wholesome surroundings.
Feb. 17, 1955–Bob Cain won $10 for his speech entitled, “The Constitution in Our Everyday World” in the American Legion oratorical contest.
Jan. 29, 1955—Dick Wiggins, 59, died today at his residence here. Mr. Wiggins was a charter member of John F. Thompson Post 52 of the American Legion and a veteran of World War I.
June 19, 1956—Hartselle’s pride is a modern $120,000 municipal auditorium housing city offices which was officially dedicated today. Hartselle’s Mayor John Burleson officiated at the opening of the dedicatory ceremonies which featured a flag-raising by the American Legion.
Feb. 14, 1981–Lloyd E. Logan, 66, died. He served two terms on the City Council (1956-1964). He was American Legion Post Commander for ten years. He had moved to Hartselle in 1947.
Jan. 30, 2013—Funeral services for Mary Frances McCall at the Hartselle FUMC were held this afternoon. It is recalled that she was a member of the chancel choir at the church for more than half a century. Also she was a member of the bell and heritage choirs and a past member of the official board. She taught Sunday school for 42 years. Based on the supreme sacrifice her family had suffered in the death in action of her beloved brother, George Duncan, during World War II, she was a member of the American Legion auxiliary. She worked for Wolverine Tube for 32 years. Bearers included Dennis Griffith, Ray Floyd, Tommy Newman and Scott Stone.