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New Jersey post kicks off its centennial with contest


Photo of Capt. James B. Scarr, the namesake of Post 106 in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.

Capt. James B. Scarr American Legion Post 106 in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J., will celebrate its centennial in September 2019. It’s one of 116 centennial posts in the Department of New Jersey to do so.

To kick off its 100th anniversary celebration, Post 106 is conducting an art/poster contest with high school students in the area. And $600 in prize money will be awarded to the top five winners.

Post 106’s art/poster contest is challenging participants to create something that denotes the 100th anniversary of the post. Participants will upload a digital image of their artwork to the visitor's section of Post 106’s Facebook page. From Feb. 16-March 14 people can vote; winners will be decided by the most number of “likes.” The top five winners will be announced April 2 during the post meeting.

The winners of the contest will have their artwork featured alongside the post’s centennial timeline, which will be displayed inside the town’s public library. Members of the post are currently working with Hasbrouck Heights high school teachers and students to create that timeline.

Photos, articles and a story of the post's namesake have all been delivered to the students for the creation of the 100-year anniversary timeline. “We are excited to see what they come up with,” said Post 106 First Vice Commander Patrick McCarthy. To guide them in their creation, a detailed article about the history of the post was written by Post Commander Michael Cahill, who has served in that position for the past 20 years. Read it here.

Post 106 was chartered in September 1919 and is named after World War I Lt. James Bernard Scarr, who was posthumously promoted to captain. Scarr left his position as a teacher and athletic director at Hasbrouck Heights High School to serve in the Army. He was assigned to the 30th U.S. Infantry Third Division. On the evening of June 6, 1918, in France, Scarr was administering first aid to three wounded men when a high-explosive shell exploded nearby. Scarr was killed instantly; his broken watch marked the exact time of his death at 2:15 a.m.

Scarr’s younger brother who was wounded in the war, Francis J. Scarr, served as Post 106’s first commander.

Post 106 First Vice Commander Patrick McCarthy said the post was very active in its early years and that there’s “a lot of history intertwined between the post and the community.” The post sponsored boxing matches, a bowling league, junior baseball team, fairs, minstrel shows, dances and other entertainment, all without a post home. Post 106 still doesn’t have a home; it meets at the senior center. And in his research of Post 106, what amazed McCarthy was that 1922 Post Commander Albert E. Browne went on to serve as the mayor of Hasbrouck Heights from 1938-1944.

McCarthy said members of the post have plans to feature the story of its namesake and history on the Legion's Centennial web page at www.centennial.legion.org. All 13,000 Legion posts worldwide, whether chartered in 1919 or 2009, have histories and legacies that have contributed to the overall identity of The American Legion. Each post can convey its legacy by sharing historical photos, videos and print material on the Legion’s Centennial web page.