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American Legion, Robert E. Lee Post No. 24 — 1924

Alexandria, Virginia

American Legion, 1924

The history of the American Legion Post in the City of Alexandria, Va., begins with the activity of several service men in the month of August, 1919. A meeting was called and in response thereto, probably fifty or sixty ex-service men assembled, at which time the purposes of the meet ing were stated by the temporary chairman. It was unanimously determined to apply for a charter in the American Legion, with the result that on the 25th day of August, 1919, a charter was issued to the local Post. This Post took the name of “Robert E. Lee” Post, State of Virginia, No.24.

Immediately upon receipt of the charter, the Post was organized with the election of George H. Evans, commander, and Gilbert J. Cox, Jr., adjutant. The commander elected had been a captain who served overseas with the Twenty-seventh Division. His son, who was a graduate of the Naval Academy, died in the service, and not only was his elevation, therefore, to the honor of being the first Post commander due to his native ability, but also as a tribute to the memory of his son, who was an associate and friend of the members of the Legion in this city.

The first year of the Legion was devoted chiefly to organization matters. No effort was made to devote legion activities, other than to the creating of interest in the Legion itself, and to the solicitation of new members.

The officers of the local Legion Post for the year 1921 were: John T. Worthington, commander, and Charles R. Morrison, adjutant. It was during this year and under the leadership of John T. Worthington, that the Legion Post was most active. Several entertainments were given by the Post for the purpose of increasing its benefit fund, and for the purpose also of adding to the building fund. The interest of the members continued throughout the year, and the Post succeeded in creating among the citizens of Alexandria interest in its welfare and future.

The officers for the year 1922 were: J. Randall Caton, Jr., commander and Clyde B. Lanham, adjutant. The chief activity of this year consisted of a banquet at which the distinguished men of the Legion, both from the State and National Headquarters attended. This banquet was attended by two hundred guests, with the result that the purpose and welfare of the Legion was given public presentation in a way that was not only interesting but entertaining.

The officers for the year 1923 were: Elliot F. Hoffman, commander, and Charles E. Corbett, adjutant. It was during this regime that the paper called Bursts was issued. The paper was issued for several Issues, and served to continue the interest, but owing to the lack of funds the paper was finally discontinued.

The present officers of the Legion are: W. Cameron Roberts, commander; John Johnston, vice-commander; C. E. Corbett, adjutant; W Glasgow, treasurer, and D. C. Pfeil, sergeant~at-arms; Nelson T. Snyder Jr., war risk officer, and J. Randall Caton, Jr., historian. The executive committee is composed of W. Cameron Roberts, John Johnston, C. E. Corbett, W. M. Glasgow, F. C. Knight, E. C. Gibbs and T. A. Sommers.

The history of the local Post, however, would not be complete the work of W. Milton Glasgow, treasurer, who has served in that capacity for three successive terms, was especially praised. He has been faithful at all meetings, and has acted as custodian and distributor of the during that period, and whatever success the local Legion is entitled to is due as much to his services as to any one man.

Frankness compels us to admit that the local Post is not and has never been as strong and as active as it should be. There is no special reason to assign for this situation, but it is believed that the time will shortly come when ex-service men will turn to the Legion as a means of solidifying great friendships formed during the war, and as a means further of petuating the ideals for which they fought. The citizens of Alexandria held a big carnival immediately upon the return of the service men to the city, and from that carnival realized a fund which has now been invested for three or four years. This fund was raised for the purpose of enabling the Legion in this city to designate and build some permanent memorial. Steps are now being taken by the present commander to increase this fund and to determine just what form this memorial will take, and it is believed when this has been done, that then the Legion will go forward with great strides.

The Post has no headquarters of its own, but uses the rooms of chamber of Commerce, which under the circumstances are entirely adequate We do not feel that in view of the present needs of the City of Alexandria in an economic way, that we could justify ourselves at the present time in going before the public for the purpose of aid in building Legion headquarters. Instead, the moral support of the Legion and the active work of those most interested in the Legion, has been to contribute to the economic upbuilding of the city, Imowing that when this has been accomplished then will come the reward to the Legion by the accomplishment of having headquarters of its own.