and foremost an association for United States ex-servicemen, the American Legion
was founded in Paris in 1919. As of 1993, there were little over 3 million
The American Legion is not a secret society in the classic sense, but is has initiatory rituals and a strong political agenda. Moreover, in some localities, American Legion membership consists entirely of freemasons.
By the 1920s, the Legion began to assume semiofficial status in federal government, which gave it certain surplus military equipment and granted it tax exemption on its building in Washington D.C. The Legion has historically exerted influence on local, state and federal legislators and was instrumental in securing GI and veterans' benefits. At any times, however, its right-wing orientation motivated agitation for such intolerant legislative measures as a ban on citizenship on foreign-born Japanese (1920) and a push for legislation requiring all foreign-language newspapers to file translations with the U.S. Postmasters general.
The American Legion Auxiliary is the ladies' branch of the organization and works in support of veterans' rights and welfare, especially for the wounded and the elderly.
Initiation Ceremony of The American Legion