The American Legion strongly encourages the preparation of post histories. Such information on the post’s activities will be of considerable value in years to come.
Department and National Headquarters are aware that a professional historian does not fill the position of historian in most posts. This need not prevent a proper recording of the post’s activities. The scope of the information included is the main consideration, keeping in mind, however, comprehensiveness, readability and arrangement, so as to make the history both an interesting account of the post and a reference source.
At the start of the new post year, the historian begins making a permanent record of the organization for the year ahead, from the installation of officers up to and including the installation of next year’s officers. To help gather specific details concerning the post, ask the post adjutant for a copy of the most recent Consolidated Post Report. The statistical summary will indicate the type and amount of activity that can help you put together as complete a picture as possible. Make plans to compile a complete post history since its founding, but focus, for the moment, on a one-year history. Then go back to the files and gradually write up the back story.
Included in the Officer’s Guide and Manual of Ceremonies are comprehensive outlines to compile a one-year narrative history or yearbook with their respective judging standards for competition in the Department and National contests.
To be eligible for the National contests, an entry in either category must be a first-place winner in the department’s contest and must be certified as such by the department historian and forwarded to the national historian to arrive in Indianapolis by Sept. 15. The Department will collect and judge books during the Department Convention, and declare a winner for National submission.
Upon completion of the national contest, all entries will be returned to their respective posts unless otherwise instructed for different shipping arrangements.
The work of collecting, preserving and recording the activities of The American Legion is an important endeavor and demands much detail work; hopefully you will find it inspiring and rewarding. Contact the department historian for additional ideas and information regarding department contest qualifications.