The American Legion was chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization. Focusing on service to veterans, servicemembers and communities, the Legion evolved from a group of war-weary veterans of World War I into one of the most influential nonprofit groups in the United States. Membership swiftly grew to over 1 million, and local posts sprang up across the country. Today, membership stands at over 2.4 million in 14,000 posts worldwide. The posts are organized into 55 departments: one each for the 50 states, along with the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, France, Mexico and the Philippines.
Over the years, the Legion has influenced considerable social change in America, won hundreds of benefits for veterans and produced many important programs for children and youth.
The American Legion is a social and mutual-aid veterans’ organization including members of the United States armed forces. The organization was founded in 1919 by veterans returning from Europe after World War I, and was later chartered as an official American patriotic society under Title 36 of the United States Code. The organization is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, and also has offices in Washington, DC. The group has nearly 3 million members in over 14,000 Posts worldwide.
In addition to organizing commemorative events and volunteer veteran support activities, the American Legion is active in issue oriented U.S. politics. Its primary political activity is lobbying on behalf of the interests of veterans and service members, including support for veterans benefits such as pensions and the Veterans Affairs hospital system. The Legion has also been involved as a conservative voice in more general political and cultural issues.