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The men’s baseball team from Oakland, Calif., defeated the men’s baseball team from Worcester, Mass., 4-0, in the opening game of the American Legion World Junior Series at Oomiskey Park on August 1. 1928. George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images
On July 17, 1925, the American Legion Baseball program was established for youth; it graduates about 50% of Major League Baseball players.
In the midst of World War II, the American Legion changed the verbiage of the preamble to its constitution from “war” to “wars” for the first and only time in September 1942.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the original GI bill on June 22, 1944, providing veterans with better educational, career, and financial opportunities in the United States.
In 1950, the American Legion voted to help fund mental health fields, which was a catalyst for the launch of the National Association for Mental Health.
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The American Legion Child Welfare Foundation was established on July 9, 1954. Today, more than $11 million has been awarded to youth organizations and projects to help American children.
The organization became heavily involved in the outcry over the Vietnam War in the 1960s – and today it still requires a full count of POWs and missing troops.
A check for $1 million was given by the Legion to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund to build the wall in Washington in 1982.
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After the attacks of September 11, 2001, the American Legion responded by reactivating the Family Support Network and creating the American Legacy Scholarship Fund for children of service members killed on or after September 11.
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Dozens of young people from more than 120 area schools marched through downtown Denver, Colorado with flags on June 12, 1976. The Flag Day Parade was sponsored by Leyden-Chiles-Wickersham Post. No. 1, American Legion. Ira Gay Sealy/The Denver Post via Getty Images
Today, the American Legion has nearly two million members in more than 13,000 posts, including international and American chapters in Puerto Rico, France, Mexico and the Philippines.
Richard Pecci, a Vietnam veteran and the current commander of his local American Legion — Admiral Farrugut Post 1195 in Hastings-on-Hudson, NY — opened up about his membership in comments to Fox News Digital.
“The American Legion means so much to me,” he said.
“They gave me the opportunity to serve other veterans in my community and help others, going into classrooms to educate and mentor young people.”
He added, “We raise money for all kinds of causes, such as scholarships for young people and veterans’ aid programs.”
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“Most importantly,” said Pecci of the Legion, “we have a place for other veterans to go where they feel safe and know there’s someone else out there who’s lived what they did.”