ALHAMBRA POST 139

The Voice of Elegance
History of the District
 

In 1985-1986 under Sonny Quinn's District leadership the "66 year history book committee" was formed and "The Elegant" 18th District, Dept. of California THE FIRST SIXTY-SIX YEARS 1920-1986 by Win Kelly was written and published.
The 18th District history that follows was excerpted from this comprehensive history book.

The 18th District had its beginning in 1920 as the 2nd District chartered in LA County. The LACC records did not differentiate posts by Districts from 1920 to 1926. There were 57 Posts in LA County in 1926.
During the 1926-1927 year the 18th District had 16 posts: Abraham Lincoln 241, Canyon City 180, Chas. P. Rowe 30, Frank J. Gard 153, El Monte 261, Glen Dyer (Arcadia) 247, Howard T. Douglas 207, John Howard Strain (Alhambra) 139, Keith Powell 78, Lamanda Park (East Pasadena) 280, La Puente 75, Monrovia 44, Pasadena 13, Sierra Madre 297, South Pasadena 140 and Joseph L. Kauffman 279.
There was steady growth through 1949-1950 when a peak of 37 posts was reached. This level (36-37) was maintained through 1972-1973. Since then a gradual decline occurred to our current level of 26 posts.
Following is an abbreviated list of notable events that took place during the first 66 years:

  • 1932-1933 - First Dept. of CA Convention held in the District (Pasadena).
  • 1934-1935 - The district's Disaster and Relief Committee organized many Legion members to assist local authorities during the heavy flooding that hit the area. As many as 200 Legionnaires were deputized to patrol the area. Others were used to evacuate residents. Food, clothing and medical supplies were collected and distributed.
  • 1941-1942 - The U.S. entrance into the war saw the district take an active part. The district provided space in post clubhouses for first aid courses, air raid warden stations and collection stations for scrap metal, paper and fats. The clubs were also focal points for local war bond drives.
  • 1951-1952 - Merle C. North (139) was the first W.W.II veteran to serve as District Commander.
  • 1952-1953 - Lewis K. Gough (13) was the first member of the district to serve as National Commander.
  • 1953-1954 - The 6th Area was created. The district moved from the 4th to the 6th Area.
  • 1954-1955 - The "Elegant Saints Drum and Bugle Corps" was formed.
  • 1961-1962 - A new youth conservation program was approved, called the 18th District American Legion Junior Forestry and Conservation Conference. It was held with the cooperation of the US Forestry Service and the L.A. County Fire Dept. and Fire Warden. Held in May of '62 with 50 boys housed at Chilao Flats in the Angeles National Forest. (This district program eventually became the Department's Youth Environmental Conference which continues to be a major Dept of CA program today)
  • 1963-1964 - The 18th District Installation Team was formed.
  • 1967-1968 - "Mighty Mite" Walter Martinez was District Commander when the Elegant 18th Players presented the play: "A Womanless Wedding" (you have to see the pictures to really appreciate this one)
  • 1970-1971 - The National Legion Baseball Championship was won by West Covina Post 790's team.
  • 1971-1972 - First Annual "Day At The Races" took place at Santa Anita Racetrack.
  • 1978-1979 - The District Past Commanders Ritual Team was formed.
  • 1979-1980 - The penguin was voted to be the official emblem of the 18th District.
  • 1980-1981 - Second Dept. of CA Convention held in the 18th District (Pasadena).
  • 1985-1986 - Selected and organized this term was the 66-year history book committee. District 18 is believed to be the first district in California to develop a book of this sort and it could well be a first among districts around the nation.
  • 1986-1987 - District Commander Felix Nieves starts the next 66 years.
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