The issue of May 31 was the last Douglas County Legionnaire under the able tutelage of Jim Milota. For a year and a half he had been managing editor, during which it had grown to be one of the best Legion papers in the country. Jake Isaacson put his name at the masthead for the first time in the issue of June 7.
The National President of the Auxiliary, Dr. Kate Waller Barrett spoke to Auxiliary members in Omaha on June 27 she was honored by the local unit at a dinner at the Fontenelle. Her speech stressed the fact that, whatever the ex-service man did with his adjusted compensation, it was his because he had earned it. Dr. Barrett also complimented the local ladies on their welfare work especially the Angels of Mercy" hospitalization program under the direction of Mrs. William Mettlen, actively assisted by other members of the unit.
The first-and last American Legion Baby Show in Omaha was sponsored by the Rose E. Buman (Nurses) Division of the post on July 27, in conjunction with other features of the Legion picnic. Out of 131 babies, Mary Madeline, daughter of Mr., and Mrs. John Mountain, was first in the 6-12 months class; Mary Patricia, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jack Bresnan, in the 12-18 months class; and William, Jr., son of Mr. and Mrs. W. E. Fuller, in the 18-24 months class. Other features, plain and novelty, were held for various classes. Harry Trustin won the men's foot race, but having violated the rules, failed to place in the re-run. Judge Frank Dineen captured third place after an extra-judicial battle.
The first recipient of the Rose E. Buman nursing scholarship was announced in the September 20 edition of the Legionnaire. She was Miss Ivy Beerline, 19-year-old girl from Papillion, Nebraska.
Taylor Heads Department
Charles W. Taylor of Lincoln won a close election over Dwight Griswold of Gordon to become department commander. The new commander was a professor in the Teachers' College of the University of Nebraska. Mrs. E. C. Warner of Norfolk was named President of the Auxiliary, and Dr. A. D. Munger, Grand Chef de Gare of the Nebraska Grand Voiture of the 40 and 8.
Jack Jesse won the state championship in the Plattsmouth Rifle Match and three other Marine members of the Russell G. Hughes Club took medals. Ed Perley, though not an ex-marine, came in for a medal also.
With J. N. "Nobs" DeFrance as a guiding spirit, the Post Bowling League was formed on October 9 with four teams. The Omaha Athletic Club alleys were selected for competition every Tuesday evening. The pioneer teams were:
Navy-Fred Powers, Captain.
Elks-E. E. Cass, Captain.
Skyscrapers-L. N. Smith, Captain.
Sharpshooters-"Nobs" De France, captain.
Two other teams were added later, George Gillan's "KP's" and Jake Isaacson's "Labor Battalion."
The highlight of the year was the national convention at San Francisco, ending October 19. Eighty-eight members of the post at- tended, going by special train, named, of course, the "Cornhusker Special." The passengers included Harry Hough, who almost missed the train in Cheyenne, and Bill Dana, who was mistaken for a famous (or infamous) train robber in Salt Lake City and only escaped jail by fast-talking.
Hird Stryker, after a morning session in the baggage car discovered enough money in his pockets to pay expenses. According to Legionnaires who had attended the Kansas City and Hastings conventions, this was getting to be a habit. Guy Beckett was defeated in a golf match at San Francisco, but it took a professional to do it.
John R. Quinn was elected national commander, and Mrs. Franklin Bishop, national president of the Auxiliary. Both were from California, Quinn from Delano and Mrs. Bishop from San Diego. The 40 and 8 elected Robert John Murphy of Iowa as Chef de Chemin de Fer. Its female counterpart, the 8 and 40, chose Mrs. Ada Sangster for the second time. St. Paul was to be the next convention city.
The new national commander paid his first visit to the Douglas County Post on November 2, stopping off on his way to national head- quarters. He emphasized that no drastic changes in policy would be proposed, mostly an intensifying of previous efforts, especially adjusted compensation and welfare for disabled veterans. Harry Hough as post adjutant promised 3,000 members by the end of 1924 and hoped he hadn't made a rash statement.
The Armistice Day issue of the Legionnaire consisted of 40 pages with many special articles by past commanders. Allan Tukey related the first year's struggles. Among one of the first difficulties was the officer-enlisted argument. Some members wanted the organization kept strictly out of the hands of the ex-officers. This question was settled peaceably and finally after the riot of 1919. A special force, composed of 350 Legionnaires, had as a commander an ex-shavie with a former lieutenant colonel as his second in command. Platoons were officered by ex-bucks or ex-officers in accordance with their ability and the ranks held everything from eagle colonel to bugler. In some cases fathers served under sons.
Walter Byrne told of post relief and employment to work; Sam Reynolds went into detail about the "Battle of Slippery Gulch;" and Gene Steinheimer, Conducteur, Omaha Voiture 40 and 8, explained the origin, aims and membership of the Box Car Boys. In order to become a member, he said, it was necessary to be an active Legionnaire and be willing to work for the Legion. The 40 and 8 did not ask a candidate his religion, politics or former rank. Though classed as the fun department of the Legion, the 40 and 8 had very serious aims.
Bozell Elected Commander
Post elections took up the meeting of November 9, held in the council chamber of the City Hall. After the usual terrific flurry of paper and hot air, the results were posted.
Commander, Leo Bozell.
Vice-Commanders, Harry Trustin (Army), Norris Tym (Navy),
William Dana (Marines).
Chaplain, Rev. M. R. Laird.
Sergeant-at-arms, Euel McKnight.
Executive Committee, Sam Reynolds, Hird Stryker, Anan Raymond, William Ritchie, Jr, Walter Byrne Clint Brome, LymanWheeler, James Hanberry, Dr. Barton Nash, J ay Dudley, H. H. Dudley, J. R. Byerly, Roy Swanson, Amos Thomas, Dave Capron, T. J. McGuire, E. C. Steinheimer, Euel McKnight, R. A. Kirkpatrick, Kendall Hammond, Allan Tukey, Ed Burdick, J. J. Isaacson, L. L. Kinsey, Ted Metcalfe, Al May, James Van Avery, Pearl Larson, Fred Heyn, William Mettlen, and Julius Festner.
Mettlen and Festner were tied for last place. Both were declared elected with a half vote apiece until a vacancy should occur.
After three years of unselfish and indefatigable labor as post chaplain and chairman of the relief and welfare committees, the "best loved man on the post," Rev. Lloyd B. Holsapple, requested that another be elected in his place.
L. L. Kinsey became Chef de Gare of the local voiture of the 40 and 8.
Each leader appointed seven "top sergeants" who in turn selected five "buck privates" for the heavy work. The prize for the winning army was a feed at the expense of the losers. Goal was the 3,000 members promised the national commander by the post adjutant.
The January 10 Legionnaire announced that J. S. Eley, veteran advertising man, had been acquired to fill the post left vacant by Al C. Roberts. Eley came to the Legionnaire from the Omaha Daily News, after serving eight years in the army.
A unanimous vote at the post meeting of January 25 changed the name of the world's largest post to Omaha Post Number 1. This name has continued to the present. The old name of Douglas County Post was consigned to the limbo of pleasant memories. To further accentuate the name a wedding was held at the meeting. Legionnaire Michael J. March was married to Miss Evelyn Leigh of Council Bluffs.
Those indefatigable promoters, Harry Trustin and Bill Mettlen, had managed to collect sufficient funds-aided by $150 from the treasury and a $50 gift from the Auxiliary-to enable the Post Drum Corps to be formed. On this occasion, the first meeting of the post under its permanent name, the drummers and buglers gave out with ruffles and flourishes.
The rifle shooters of the Russel G. Hughes Club held their annual meeting and get-together at the Omaha Athletic Club. The election of officers was wisely held early in the evening. Ed Perley was chosen president. Jack Jesse, hardest worker, as well as one of the best shots on the club, was re-elected executive officer. The club decided to do some small bore shooting in the winter, as well as or ganize a pistol team. Practice was not to start until the effects of the annual meeting wore off.
The Treasury Gets a Boost
With the success of "Slippery Gulch" in mind, the post decided to try another and from March 1 to 8 put on "Powder River" in the Auditorium. Gambling (Powder River currency) dancing and floorshows netted $10,000 for the post treasury. J. J. Isaacson was executive director, Bill Bruett was head teller and "Ma" Mettlen was chairman of the women workers. Elizabeth Bradford at the head of a band of "true-blue" nurses gave great assistance, as did many other members. Bill Mettlen won a close election for Sheriff, but Miss Winfred Williams was elected Mayoress with 60,000 votes to spare. Both received trips to the national convention as prizes.
An audit of the books on April 17 gave the net worth of the post as $11,722.63. It was decided to put away $5,000 of this in Liberty Bonds as a nest egg for the clubhouse to be acquired in the distant future.
The Finance Committee was to be congratulated for the $7, 000 increase in net worth since April 1, 1923. Bob Burns was chairman of this committee with Allan Tukey, Gene Steinheimer, Walter Byrne and Henry Dudley as other members.
The first season of the post Bowling League finished with George Gillan's team of "KP's" the champions by winning 38 out of 60 games. The other pin smashers on the team were Art Nordeen, Bill Stetzel and Dick Stanley. "Labor Battalion," with Jake Isaacson at the helm, ran a close second.Closer Liaison With South Omaha
Closer liaison with the Melting Pot Post of South Omaha was brought about when they adopted the Douglas County Legionnaire as their post paper. In the issues beginning May 8 a special section of the paper was set-aside for the South Omaha Post. Friendship was further cemented when a rodeo was projected with the Omaha and South Omaha posts as co-sponsors.
A tremendous membership drive, headlined by Past National Commander Hanford MacNider at the opening meeting was intensified by the energy of Russ Gentzler, chairman of the membership committee. He and his panting cohorts secured 943 members in three days. This raised the membership to 2,842 and indicated that the promised 3,000 would soon be exceeded. Russ Gentzler and his champions received wild acclaim at the May 13 meeting when the totals were announced. With this membership the post felt easier in having accepted the challenges of Des Moines and Detroit. Bert Grasborg's team was high in the drive, thereby winning a free meal for the boys plus a train ticket to the convention for Grasborg himself. Bert worked for naught but glory, however, as he was' employed by the Union Pacific and had a pass. .
A five-year-long trail came to an end when Congress overrode President Coolidge's veto of the Adjusted Compensation Bill. The American Legion had fought for this bill through many weary months in spite of setbacks which included a veto by President Harding Over 3,000,000 veterans were affected by this bill and the Legion 'prepared to give them the necessary information for their applications.
Miss Elizabeth Bradford, chief organizer and first chairman of the Rose E. Buman (Nurses’) Division, left for Los Angeles after five years with the post. The Division as well as individual members of the Auxiliary gave parties for Miss Bradford before she left. Her fellow Legionnaires presented her with a flower basket suitably engraved.
The national commander, John R. Quinn, who, according to the Legionnaire, was "old fashioned and honest, and still wore suspenders." gave an address before 1,000 Legionnaires and their friends on May 27. His subject was the Adjusted Compensation Law. "The fight is won," he announced, "The Legion's only interest now is to see that the law is honestly, efficiently and economically written.
Reach Goal of 3,000 Posters
The goal of 3,000 members was reached on June 22, and the post adjutant drew several deep breaths of relief. Walter A. Kirby, a recent arrival from New York, succumbed to the combined sales talk of Jack Eley, Harry Weinberg and Don Kipplinger to accept card Number 3,000. At that time no post was within 1,000 members of the Omaha total and nine departments had fewer members. Congratulatory telegrams were received from the national organization.
Offered a cut of the Community Chest funds about this time, the post declined the offer with thanks on the grounds that it would not.
The Auxiliary election was held in December and the ladies announced that Mrs. J. B. Reynolds, mother of Sam W., was the new president. Miss Abelone Winters was elected to head the Nurses Division.
Let's Call It Omaha Post
A movement previously defeated was revived again on December 6. It was, desired to change the name from Douglas County Post to Omaha Post No. 1. The former name had become inappropriate since the forming of other posts within Douglas County. As Hird Stryker expressed it: "When we go to conventions we are known as the Omaha Post, so why not call ourselves that?"
The first try for a Legion Drums Corps a benefit dance at the Rome on December 8, failed to bring in as much as expected. Harry Trustin and Bill Mettlen were not downhearted and planned other benefits.
The Auxiliary bazaar, held at the same time, was a little more successful, netting more than $200 for the ladies. This gain was earmarked for the splendid welfare work being carried on by the Auxiliary.
Harry Trustin, vice-commander (Army) for the post, defeated Howard Johnson to become the first official golf champion of the World's Largest Post. The match was won at the nineteenth hole. With the title went a prize presented by Sam Reynolds a silver- plated army canteen suitably engraved.
The Post ended the year by bringing Christmas cheer to 66 needy families, making good the boast: " A Christmas dinner in the home of every service man."
Membership was on the rise, increasing 487 over the previous year to number 2,673.1924
The annual memberships drive started early in 1924 with Ted Metcalfe at the helm of the committee. Three "armies" were appointed--Charles Metz for the "Reds," Harry Stevens for the "Whites" like to see the Legion, particularly the world's largest post, dependent on even so worthy a fund as the Community Chest. The national organization and other posts endorsed this policy.
The winning slogan to be Garried to the national convention in St. Paul was announced in the July 24 edition of the Legionnaire. "Buddy's Biggest Benefactor-The World's Largest Post-Omaha No.1." Sidney Gottneicd won the prize offered by the past commanders for the best slogan. Irving Benolken submitted the best emblem.
The businessmen of Omaha pledged $50,000 to sponsor the local post in its fight to bring the 1925 convention to Omaha. Immediately upon receipt of this news, Post Commander Bozell appointed Hird Stryker head of a committee to guide the work in this, the biggest job the post had ever undertaken. As the first item on his program, Chairman Stryker campaigned to get at least 1,000 delegates to St.' Paul. These, by mingling with the other delegates, would form a lobby for securing the convention. Ak-Sar-Ben promised to base its 1925 program around the convention. South Omaha Post joined with its larger brother in the campaign.
The build-up for state and national conventions required relaxation, which was furnished by the annual picnic at Riverview Park on August 21. Sports included a baseball game between the "Fats' and the 'Leans' in which John Kilmartin as catcher caught three of the balls thrown to him. L'Roy Clark (he later substituted all 'e' for the apostrophe) conductor of the "Breezy Knothole" column of the Legionnaire, proved that he! Could throw a baseball as well as the bull when he pitched his team to a rousing 432-119 victory.
Reynolds for National Committeeman
The Omaha delegation went to Grand Island for the state convention knowing that Sam Reynolds could be elected department commander if he would consent. Sam declined the honor on the grounds that he had too much work with his business, and Charles M. Courtney won out over the other competitors. Determined to recognize the Reynolds ability and charm, the delegates elected him unanimously to the position of National Committeeman. Two Auxiliary members placed in the feminine part of the convention. Mrs. John Kilmartin was elected National Committeewoman for the Department Auxiliary and Miss Margaret Kennedy was named Historian, a position she bad so ably held in the local unit. Among the high marks of the convention were two pitchers of water thrown from the ninth floor onto Vic Hermansen's coupe-without removing the pitchers-and one of our shorter Legionnaires chose up a six-foot delegate from North Platte. The local Legionnaire won the scrap by default when the challenge was ignored.
Among the offers elected were Renst Meyer, Grand Chef de Gare of the Nebraska Voiture, and Mrs. E. C. Warner, department president of the Auxiliary.
Led by Hird Stryker, fostered and aided by the businessmen of Omaha and all Nebraska Legionnaires, the "Omaha Next" campaign put on a magnificent show at St. Paul. The battle was terrific and succeeded in capturing the 1925 convention for Omaha. Fort Worth supplied the most notable opposition, but was outvoted in the finals 512 to 440. The Drum and Bugle Corps paraded at all hours. A quartet, calling themselves the "Keno Four" and composed of Paul Jordan, Claire Young, Floyd Paynter and Frank Peterson (all but Peterson Legionnaires) made Legion history. In cowboy garb and on horseback, they soon had everyone in St. Paul singing Fritz Carlson's song:
"Omaha, Omaha, finest place you ever saw,
Come along, join the throng
Cause you simply can't go wrong (1 say it's great)
Omaha, Omaha, boost a real town all day long,
And next year when you are meeting COME TO OMAHA!"
The song and the "Keno Four" made such a hit that Jim Drain, following his election as National Commander, selected the quartet to travel allover the country with him in the campaign to raise the American Legion Endowment Fund.
The climax came on the day of the voting. Fort Worth put on a good show, using the slogan " A MAN (Owsley past national commander) A MAP (showing that it was the south's turn for the convention) AND A MAID (Miss May Peterson, grand opera star, accompanied by the famous Texas 'Old Gray Mare band'), and informed the convention that the "Eyes of Texas are upon you." The eyes of the convention, however, were not upon Texas as Earl Cline, former department commander of Nebraska, extolled the virtues of Omaha, promised the best entertainment in Legion history, and to prove it, dramatically waved aloft the magic $50,000 check. At the conclusion of his remarks a gigantic curtain, sixty feet by forty, dropped from the ceiling of the St. Paul Auditorium and displayed the invitation:
"The Home of the World's Largest Legion Post Wants You in 1925" OMAHA NEXT Omaha Wins.
Such showmanship was not to be denied. Despite a desperate comeback by Fort Worth, the voting gave the victory to Omaha.
Members of the committee that carried through the "Omaha Next" campaign were Hird Stryker, chairman; Sam Reynolds, Clint Brome, Anan Raymond, Frank Landers, Morrie Jacobs, William Ritchie, Jr., Walter Byrne and Leo Bozell.
The Drum and Bugle Corps, aside from its labors for "Omaha Next," won second place in the team competition. Roscoe G. (Doc) Conklin, who led and trained the corps considered this very creditable in view of the short time the members had been together. Along the lighter side, Gene Steinheimer, aided by Wright Cockran and Paul Leidy, attempted some amateur competition in the line of fife and drum work, but failed to place in the contest. Frank Landers secured an 80-foot post and went looking for the person who had told the Omaha bunch that it was only a ten-minute ride from their headquarters ill the West Hotel, Minneapolis, to the convention hall. The post was appropriately painted to inform the world that Omaha No.1 was the World's Largest Post. Frank experienced too much difficulty to get the post into the convention hall, although many were willing to help.
James A. Drain, one-armed veteran from Washington State, was elected national commander. He had once been a bank clerk in Lincoln, Nebraska. After the election the new commander promised to speak at the annual post dinner on Armistice Day.
George Dobson of New Jersey took over as Chef de Chemin de Fer of the Box Car gang. Mrs. 0. D. 0liphant became leader of the Auxiliary and Mrs. Lilly Burt accepted Le Chapeau National of the 8 and 40.Posters Prepare for '25 Convention
Upon return of the victorious delegates to Omaha, immediate work was begun to prepare for the 50,000 to 60,000 visitors expected at the 1925 convention. Omaha post officials and businessmen of the city worked shoulder to shoulder to set up convention committees. Everett Buckingham, president of the Union Stock Yards Company, was selected as chairman, with Leo Bozell and Bird Stryker as vice-chairmen. Fourteen committees included:
Finance - John L. Kennedy, Reception and Distinguished Guests - Frank W. Judson; Transportation and Automobiles - J. E. Davidson; Hotels and Housing – E. C. Eppley; Entertainment - W. D. Hosford; Decorations - George Brandies; Parades and Public Gatherings - General George B. Duncan; Provost - Amos Thomas; Publicity - Morris E. Jacobs; Halls and Seating - Allan Tukey; Personnel - Robert T. Burns; Badges and Trophies - Fred T. Heyn; Concessions - J.J. Isaacson; Information - Montague Tancock.
An intensive campaign was started by the post to get funds for welfare activities before convention work should take up all its time. Special assistance was not neglected as nineteen Legionnaires, Trustin, Wheeler and Dudley in the van, united to build a house for James Corbett, a disabled veteran with two children. The Omaha Post Clinic for Disabled Veterans started with eleven cases, which rapidly increased to thirty-four.
In the athletic line Seavey Hudson became the king of the post golfers when he defeated Fred C. Nelson in a match, which went twenty holes.Post Honors War 1 Sweetheart
Elsie Janis, sweetheart of World War 1, so well remembered by countless Legionnaires for her morale work in France, arrived in Omaha November 2 for a week's run at the Orpheum. A committee headed by Bill Bruett arranged a party in her honor, A large delegation of Legionnaires attended the Orpheum to pay their respects 3rd the Drum and Bugle Corps serenaded her,
Annual post elections took place on November 6 and 7. Final results as tabulated were:
Vice-Commanders - John Kilmartin (Army), C. T. Logan (Marines),
Chaplain-Rev. John Palubicki,
Executive Committee: Leo Bozell, Harry Trustin, w. F. Bruett. Sam Reynolds, Clint Brome, Bryce Crawford, Jr., Hird Stryker, Amos Thomas, Paul Coad, J. J. Isaacson, Frank Dineen, H. H. Dudley, E. C. Steinheimer, Paul Leidy, Fred Heyn, Leo Crosby, Ted Metcalfe, Ross Shotwell, Walter Byrne, Robert T’/ay Dudley, Phil Downs, Dan Gross, R. W. Gentzler, Buck Jennings, Harry Mooney.
The Rose E. Buman (Nurses) Division elected Miss Vita Pickard. Chairman for the coming year. The November 3 election of the Auxiliary resulted in a victory for Mrs. H. H. Dudley. Later in the year she resigned and was succeeded by Mrs. R. B. Baker. Wright Cochran took over the reins for Voiture 2.06, 40 & 8.
Paper Starts Tradition
A super-edition on Armistice Day had become a tradition with the Douglas County Legionnaire. The 1924 number carried a huge spread on preparations for the convention the following year. Morrie Jacobs, chairman of the publicity committee, promised pageants and stunts, and General George B. Duncan, commanding the 7th Corps Area, was to mobilize a tremendous military formation from his command. Delegations from many states announced their participation. Eight Pullmans were reserved for the District of Columbia Detachment alone. In this issue of the Legionnaire was coined the phrase "OMAHA-Heart of the Legion." A large portion of the issue was given over to a description of the history and attributes of Omaha.
Attendance at the annual Armistice Day dinner broke former records, with an attendance of 800. National Commander Drain commented that, if his reception were any criterion, Omaha would give the Legion the best national convention of all. He went on to enumerate the order of importance of the Legion's program for the coming year - 1. Care of the disabled, 2. Child welfare, 3. Americanism, 4. Legislation. Following a few more speeches, the celebrants attended the Auxiliary's carnival dance at the Burgess-Nash tearooms.
The last post meeting of 1924 closed a very successful year. Committee chairmen gave reports on the projected program for the following year. All members mutually resolved to make 1925 a banner year, and to climax it with the finest of all Legion conventions.
The post cared for seventy-five families and forty single men for Christmas dinner, insuring that no "buddy" went hungry on that day.
Membership for 1924 was 3.170-considerably larger than that of any other post.1925
Post Commander Raymond dedicated the year of the convention to an ambitious program. The reputation of the post and all Omaha was at stake to make the convention the best in Legion annals.
A good omen appeared when the "paid-ups." surpassed that of any previous year. The membership committee, captained by Russ Gentzler, settled down for a terrific drive-the goal, 5,000 members promised the national commander. Wright Cochran issued stern orders to his 40 and 8 gang that every voyageur must bring in seven members or suffer dire penalties.
Cash prizes for signing up the most members were offered. Top prize was $25, others ranged down to $5. Henry Gering offered an additional $20 in gold to the leader in the drive. The results began to show immediately. By February 12 the enrollment was 3.388-218 more than at the close of business in 1924-and the enrollments kept arriving at the rate of 250 or more a week. The Auxiliary kept pace by setting its goal at 1,000 members and getting a third of these by the middle of February.
Phil Downs, one of the better member-getters, traded matrimony for Legion work-temporarily-and left on a honeymoon in New Orleans, Cuba and South America. No orders were taken for Cuban souvenirs.
Wayne "Big" Munn, a Legionnaire and Omaha poster, annexed the wrestling championship of the world by defeating Ed "Strangler" Lewis. In those days wrestling, not 'rasslin' was exhibited.
The "Keno Four" that had so ably represented Omaha at the St. Paul convention and later had accompanied the national commander on his endowment campaign, was designated as the official American Legion quartet for 1925.
Douglas County Salon No.16 of La Boutique des Huit Chapeaux et Quarante Femmes was formed on March 17, 1925. Mrs. Madge King Johnson, (Chapeau National, was the guest of the new unit and installed the first officers:
Le Chapeau - Mrs. Mary Marston Kinsey. Demi-Chapeaux - Mrs. William, Dana and Mrs. A. L. Rohde. Secretary - Miss Ruth Burke Johnston.
La Cassiere - Mrs. Byron Oberst, Pioupiou - Mrs. 0. W. (Billy) Youngberg.
Archivist - Miss Sidney Stebbins.
Surintendante - Mrs. Pat Boyle.
The salon began work immediately to aid in preparations for the coming convention.
The convention plans suffered a heavy loss when Everett Buckingham, chairman and prime mover in pre-convention work, died suddenly the last week in February. A. H. Richardson, president of the Standard Oil Company of Nebraska, was chosen to carryon. All hands determined to make this convention a success as a memorial to "Buck.
"Membership Passes 4,000
Membership passed the 4,000 mark on March 25, leaving only a thousand to go to fulfill the membership pledge.
The athletic activities of the post progressed along with other programs. The American Legion "Aces," representing Omaha No.1, won the Nebraska Open Basketball Championship at a YMCA tournament held the last of March. The "Shock Troops," another Legion team, came in a close third after losing to the Murphy-Did-Its.
The American Legion's national campaign for a $5,000,000 endowment to care for the 35,000 orphans of veterans started in April. Nebraska's share was $50,000-of which Omaha No.1 guaranteed to raise $12,500. This sum was finally raised by tremendous exertions but the last dollar was not received until 1926.
The Rose E. Buman (Nurses) Division got a new meeting place in the newly opened Nurses Central Club at 3718 Farnam Street. This location was particularly appropriate, as nearly every member of the division was a member of the club.Bowlers Dine
Annual banquet and revel of the bowling league was held on April 23. Commander Raymond and City Commissioner John Hopkins were guests of honor at the speakers' table, but were not allowed to make speeches. The AWOL's won the league and Frank Plambeck was high individual. As a special concession Anan Raymond was allowed to present the trophies, provided he didn't talk.
Even the officers of the South Omaha. Post were surprised by the enterprising Drum and Bugle Corps, which walked in on one of their post meetings. After showing off their wares, the music boys staged an impromptu parade through the business district bearing torches and banners to advertise the Rodeo on May 12. It took time and several extra policemen to straighten out the resultant traffic snarl. The rodeo was successful and was followed by another success in the Harris and Castle Carnival.
The Disabled American Veterans held their annual convention in Omaha June 20 through June 27. Posters lent every assistance to them, turned out a large complement for the parade, assisted in all arrangements and transported the veterans from place to place. National Commander Drain attended the convention the first time a national commander of the Legion had attended a D. A. V. convention.
Omaha and Lincoln posts joined in a huge 4th of July celebration on the State Fair Grounds. Three days of harness racing, auto races, carnival attractions and a rodeo were capped with a gigantic fireworks display. Omaha's share of the profits amounted to $500.Auxiliary Half Way There
With the year half over, the Auxiliary exceeded the halfway mark in its membership drive when member 505 signed up.
The state convention was held at Columbus July 27 to 29. J. R. Kinder, ex-Marine from Madison, was elected department commander. Due to strenuous exertions on the part of "Hoot" Gibson, Nebraska's cowboy movie star, Chadron won the honor of entertaining the 1926 convention.
A garish sartorial display enlivened the Columbus convention G. A. Burrell in a pretty pink shirt with contrasting collar was surpassed by Ted Metcalfe, Beau Brummel of the occasion. Ted's shirt was pale purple with a noticeable stripe, the ensemble completed by a mauve-colored suit and white sport shoes with tan trimming. Art Taggart's cream-colored cap and Morris Jacob's ten-gallon hat (borrowed from the Chadron boys) topped off the headgear division. The inconspicuous 40 and 8 uniform of green, red and yellow sateen could J'C4rely be seen more than three miles.
Mrs. Ethel Thompson was elected presidents of the Nebraska Auxiliary. A state organization of the "8 Chapeaux et 40 Femmes," companion order to the 40 and 8, was formed for the first time at the 1925 state convention. Mrs. R. H. Hamilton of Lincoln became the first "Chapeau Departmental." L. L. Kinsey became Grand Chef de Gare of the Nebraska 40 and 8.
Love in the Legion
A real Legion romance was announced in the August 13 issue 01 the Legionnaire. Miss Elizabeth "Bob" Bradford, chief organizer and first chairman of the Rose E. Buman (Nurses') Division of the post announced her engagement to Gene Steinheimer, hard working Omaha poster. The two had met at a post meeting and worked together on various drives.
The annual picnic was a barbecue prepared by "Doc" Frye. A crowd of 2,000 was expected and when over 3,000 showed up, there was acute danger of starvation at the end of the line. A hurriedly formed foraging party secured all available groceries from nearby establishments and fed all but about fifty before provisions gave out.
Post membership rose to 4,500 and a flurry of new prizes broke out. Max Agor offered $4.99 for membership 4,999 and Jay Dudley $5 for number 5,001. The flagging drive received new impetus. president Coolidge accepted an invitation to the convention as post membership reached 4,600.
To prevent masquerading by non-members, the convention committee worked out a complete system of registration. No previous convention had done this and plans for its execution were most elaborate.
The Covered Wagon Is Adopted
The covered wagon replaced the ear of corn as the emblem worn by. Nebraska Legionnaires. Use of the ear of corn had confused Nebraska and Iowa, causing interesting altercations. A real covered wagon was rigged up to be placed in the Nebraska section of the parade.
After a hard struggle with Charles B. Morearty, the silver can- teen emblematic of golf superiority went to Louis W. Setz. This was another match settled at the 19th hole.
Saturday, September 28, an historic telegram was sent to the national commander:
"In fulfillment of pledge made you, Omaha No.1 just went over the top. We pledge as good results on all other objectives.
Anan Raymond, Commander ,
Five Thousand One Members."