History of The American Legion
The American Legion was Chartered by Congress in 1919 as a patriotic veterans organization. Focusing on on service to veterans, service members, 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. The Post are organized into 55 departments: one each for the 50 states, along with the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, France, Mexico and the Philippines.
In March of 1919, members of the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) convene in Paris for the first American Legion caucus.
In May of that same year, the St. Louis Caucus met and “The American Legion” is adopted as the official name of the organization. In addition a draft preamble and constitution are approved.
In September 1919, Congress charters The American Legion
In November 1919 The first convention of The American Legion convenes in Minneapolis. The Constitution and preamble are adopted, and delegates vote to locate the National headquarters of The American Legion in Indianapolis Indiana.
HISTORY OF HARDING-NOIA POST 161
One evening in April of 1919 a small group of ex-servicemen an informal meeting at the commercial Hotel in Antioch for the purpose of forming some sort of an organized body which would eventually become an American Legion Post. The Spirit of organization flourished for two or three meetings but, due to a misunderstanding as to the objects of this organization it gradually died out.
It is evident that these early meetings served to form the nucleus of the present post which was permanently formed on December 13, 1919. This post was named harding Post after Lieut. Stacy Harding, an Antioch serviceman who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving with the A.E.F. The name was later changed to honor “Pud” Noia a long time Antioch resident who’s served many years as Adjutant of the harding Post. Noia was one of the early members of the post and was of the servicemen in France at the time The American Legion was formed.
Today the Post is thriving with more than 150 members. Members continue the mission of the early founders of the post and The American Legion by providing service to todays veterans, service members, and community members.