100th Anniversary of American Legion

100th Anniversary of Post 82 San Mateo and Post 105 Redwood City

   Post 82, located in San Mateo, was organized on September 29, 1919, with its charter granted in September 1920. The initial officers were Thomas Driscoll, Commander; Albert Rapp, First Vice Commander; John A. Sinclair, Second Vice Commander; and Sedley Peck, Adjutant and Finance Officer. It was the first continuously operating American Legion Post in San Mateo County. From the time it was formed, Post 82 has operated on the basis of the American Legion’s Four Pillars of Service- Veterans Affairs and Rehabilitation, National Security, Americanism and Children and Youth; Boys State is but one of many programs Post 82 has continuously supported, a focus that continues today. Immediately after it was formed Post 82 became a major supporter of The Legion Service Men's Dormitory located on the Civic Center property in San Mateo, which had originally been established in 1913 to provide housing for members of the armed forces and returning Veterans. When the need for this service ended, Post 82 remodeled the building into a clubhouse for membership meetings and remained there until 1954 when it purchased the property it currently occupies on South B Street. 

The charter for Post 105 was awarded on October 10, 1919 and was approved at a membership meeting chaired by temporary Commander Woods held in the Sequoia High School Assembly Hall. At that meeting, Floyd Granger was voted Post 105’s first Commander. 

A significant event in the history of the Post was the 1948 gift Henry McGarvey made of the land the Post now occupies. Two of the first significant Post membership decisions were to actively support the Boy Scouts of America and the formation of the National Guard.  The Post's support for the Boy Scouts is now in its 100th consecutive year and, with the assistance of the Post 105 Foundation, support continues for other groups as well, such as the Sea Scouts, Blue Star Moms, The San Mateo County Veterans Alliance, providing monthly BBQs for inpatients at the Menlo Park VA Hospital, Grave Side Memorial Services, Student Veterans of America, and the VROC (Veterans Resource and Occupation Centers) at Cañada College, College of San Mateo and Skyline College.  

The American Legion was formed in the aftermath of World War I in Paris, France in March 1919 by U.S. World War I military personnel and was federally chartered by an Act of Congress on September 16, 1919. A year after it was formed, the American Legion had chartered more than 5,400 local posts. Since then it has grown to more than 13,000 posts around the world with more than 2.2 million wartime-veteran members. 

Throughout its first century, the American Legion has built a legacy of accomplishments. Those include support for the creation of the U.S. Flag Code, the Veterans Administration, and the drafting and passage of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 – the GI Bill – which helped transform America in the second half of the 20th century. An ongoing effort is made to aid veterans in obtaining all of the benefits they are entitled to; for example, the American Legion helped in the struggle to recognize that health issues caused by exposure to Agent Orange are service-connected and therefore compensable. The American Legion currently has nearly 3,000 accredited service officers worldwide who assist veterans with their benefits claims and related concerns. Looking forward, the American legion is dedicated to continuing its mission of service to veterans, active duty members of the armed forces and their families, and the general public.