Mike Worcester In the Midst May, 2003 (vol 23, no 2), copywright Cokato Historical Society.
The origins of the American Legion date to the months immediately following the end of the Great War (later called World War I). In March 1919, a gathering of 1,000 veterans of that war gathered in Paris and adopted a charter and temporary constitution. This group completed its organizational efforts in St. Louis, in May 1919, making plans for a permanent home in New York. Congress granted the Legion a national charter in September 1919, a its inaugural national convention was held in Minneapolis that same month. In 2001, the Legion had over three million members spread across 16,000 local posts. Though the Legion is not the only veterans organization in America, it is by far the largest.
The Cokato chapter of the American Legion was formed in late September, 1919, not long after the Legion's national convention in Minneapolis. Eighteen veterans of World War I signed a petition requesting charter from the state and national organizations. George A. Borg was elected at temporary chairman, J. W. Kaufman as secretary.
Work of the American Legion:
• Condemning the action of those responsible for protecting conscientious objectors.
• Condemning the I. W. W.'s International Socialists and anarchists and demanding investigation by congress.
• Recommending action to prevent the misuse of the uniform.
• Urging legislation for reclamation of lands.
• Supporting the policy of giving preference to ex-service men for employment.
• Urging action of congress to place upon an equal basis all officers and enlisted personnel who served during the war with no preference of the regular officer as against the officer who came from civil life.
• Recommending action toward the conservation of the rights of men under the War Risk Insurance Act.
• Binding all ex-service men in one body for social and community upbuilding.
Sources: World Book Encyclopedia* Cokato Enterprise, 25 September 1919.