Nebraska’s American Legion

The NSHS Library/Archives is being assisted this summer by graduate intern, Nina Herzog. Nina comes to us from Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. She is working with staff to organize various manuscript and photo collections and make them more accessible to the public. One of the collections that Nina has worked on includes the records of the American Legion, Department of Nebraska. The American Legion was officially established in 1919. The organization was a means for men returning from Europe after World War I to band together and continue to serve their country through patriotic community service. The first Nebraska State Convention was held in Omaha in September of 1919. At the time of the first state convention there were 110 American Legion posts across Nebraska. Today’s Department of Nebraska boasts over 360 posts across the state and a membership of more than 37,000 Legionnaires. In the 1960s Lincoln had the second largest American Legion Post in the nation, second only to Denver, Colorado.

This post card shows the Legionnaire Club at 5730 O St. in Lincoln. [RG2158.PH000022-000003]

 

The Four Pillars of the American Legion are (1) mentoring youth and sponsorship of wholesome programs in the community, (2) advocating patriotism and honor, (3) promoting strong national security, and (4) continued devotion to our fellow service members and veterans. One of the best known programs that they sponsor is American Legion Baseball.

1960 American Legion World Series program. [RG2959.AM, B5, F19]

 

This program from the 1960 American Legion Little World Series is part of our American Legion, Department of Nebraska Collection [RG2959]. The 1960 Little World Series was held in Hastings, Nebraska. The program includes photos and rosters of each team participating. The back cover shows the Nebraska state champs sponsored by Hastings Post #11.

1960 Nebraska American Legion Baseball state champions.

 

The American Legion also promotes a strong national defense as well as community service. Many American Legion posts over the years have been involved in civil defense efforts and community assistance in times of natural disasters as evidenced by this advertisement for a light duty rescue vehicle from an American Legion supply catalog.

Light Utility Rescue Vehicle advertisement from a 1959 American Legion supply catalog [RG2959.AM, B6, F9].

 

For more information about our collection of American Legion records, check out the completed finding aid on our website. -Tom Mooney Curator of Manuscripts

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