Forty years of historic American Legion press releases are now available on the Digital Archive (archive.legion.org).
The American Legion News Service (archive.legion.org/handle/123456789/4692/discover?filtertype_1=title&filter_relational_operator_1=contains&filter_1=%22american+legion+news%22&submit_apply_filter=&query=&rpp=20) distributed public relations pieces to be republished in local, state and national publications. This one-of-a-kind collection of nearly 11,000 pages traces the history of the Legion through the post-World War II and Cold War eras. The articles focus on the activities of the national organization, but also include noteworthy activities of departments and posts across the nation.
The years covered in the collection are 1925, 1945-1952 and 1957-1991.
Beginning in the 1920s, the News Service had a wide reach, communicating with Legionnaires nationwide through post and department publications as well as publicizing the efforts of The American Legion through local and state newspapers. Later, distribution was streamlined to include only editors of post and department publications, some veterans newspapers and a handful of other newspapers. Today, The American Legion Dispatch and legion.org publish similar types of articles to what the News Service put out.
Previously this unique collection was almost inaccessible, since the fragile articles were tightly bound without an index or finding guide, making it difficult to find specific information. Now the full text of the collection is searchable on the Digital Archive and provides a rich source of Legion history.