A new administration had taken over in Washington. The BLUE EAGLE was going to cure our economic ills according to General Johnson, while another prominent democrat, carter Glass, criticized the idea and expressed his disgust at the antics of the "BLUE BUZZARD". However an epidemic of alphabitis enveloped the country from A.A.A. to X.Y.Z. In the maze of combinations of letters, two groups emerged to bring hope to many of our members. The C.W.A. and P.W.A. came forward. Money was made available for various public improvements. While outside of Du Page County groups of men leaned on shovels and piled up dirt for the next rain to flatten out. Certain developments went forward in Du Page County and every veteran in the county had a job of some sort for a period of at least six weeks. The efforts of the past years had had results and the ex-service man got preference in all cases. While there might be criticism as to how the money was secured and the way it was spent,the effort of the Post was great. The attendance doubled. Men who had been unable to pay their dues now paid up and new ones joined. Everyone recognized the fact that it was largely thru the efforts of The American Legion that veterans were being so well taken care of.
it was well that the membership had increased and that everyone was willing to help. This year the district convention was to be in Downers Grove. That meant an expenditure of well over $1500.00 needed to be raised by June. Work was started at the second meeting of the year. A.S.Fagan and Harold E. Day were chosen as chairman of the two important committees. Fagan on financing and Day of the convention committee. While a district convention may be a one day affair, it is a big job for a small Post. Through the efforts of Karl Knapp, a large number of musical organizations were induced to compete for prizes. The National Commander (Hayes) was present and the day went off without a hitch. Great credit is due the chairmen of the various committees.
Ten years before Swift(1924) and Stevenson(1925) had declined the honor of entertaining the district. They had been afraid of the effects on the towns people. Now with the repeal of the Eighteenth Amendment, the out going officers had invited the convention. The "Pollyannas" and the militant drys prepared to see a bunch of semi-intoxicated Legion men try to take the town apart.
The delegates and their friends and bands moved into town on the day appointed. They transacted their business. They produced the largest parade the village had ever seen. They looked around, smiled and said thank you then climbed into their cars and went home. The day was over and it had been a very pleasant and entertaining event. The militant drys and the inveterate critics came out to do their bit. There was nothing to kick about. A large number of gentlemen wearing Legion Caps had visited the town, acted in a courteous and orderly manner and gone on. Certain places of business who had laid in an overwhelming stock of alcoholic beverages in the hopes of making a killing had to ship their stock back. Everybody was delighted except the drys. They had nothing to kick about. They had been ready to do their darndest in criticizing "Those drunken bums in the Legion" and now there was nothing to criticize. Their disappointment and chagrin was terrible to behold.
The Junior Legion had gone ahead this year. The bugles and drums that had been bought years before were dug out and put in condition and William Reed came forward to organize the boys. Every Wednesday evening the boys would gather in the gym of the Lincoln School and practice. It was entertaining to watch those youngsters ranging in age from seven to fourteen trying to get the best of a drum that was considered large for their fathers. They persisted and when the Youth Week Parade came in April, they presented a fine appearance. The committee in charge of the organization had devised a uniform that cost ninety cents each for the material. It consisted of a blue beret and a blue and gold sash, while each boy furnished his own white trousers and shirt. Sewing the sashes and putting tassels on berets was quite a task. A member of the Auxiliary had said that she expected the women would have to make the uniforms. If she had kept quiet, perhaps they would have been asked to do so. But just because the crack was made, the committee decided to do it themselves. For several weeks there were meetings at the home of Al Walter(1932) and the men did the job. It would have amused many a wife to have seen Nash, Hooper, Clarke, Witt, Stevenson, Knapp Webster, Walter and several others cutting and sewing uniforms. However the job was done and the boys were out the first time in April, again on Memorial Day and then the convention parade. On that day they were judged on the same basis as the adult corps and came within one point of equaling the rating of one of the men's groups. Following this the Post set aside a ten dollar fund each month for the necessary expenses of the organization. L.E.Colby was instrumental in getting the school gym as a meeting place and the group added basketball to it's activities in the fall under the direction of L.E.Doty while Harold Clarke under took to train a riffle squad.
Early in the year Commander Binder appointed Charles Dyer to carry on the Youth Week Program. This year the store on Curtiss Street occupied by Shultz Brothers was secured and an exhibition of children's work was held. The parade was far better organized and much more successful. Besides the Junior Legion Drum and Bugle Corps, the High School Band participated. The week's events were such as to get the intensive interest of every man, woman and child in the town.
One activity that started the year before and was carried through with marked efficiency was the election of village and county officials by the children of the schools. Each school was allott3ed certain officers to elect. Under the direction of Bill Hooper this election was carried through by the teachers and on the day of the parade the various elected officers were taken to the Village Hall and the County Court House to meet the incumbents and try their hand at the job for a few minutes.
The happy results of the Youth Week experiment of the year before had brought a repetition this year and it was now expected that the affair would be an annual event. Attention had been such that a speaker at the Illinois Teacher's Institute in Aurora, Il. had recommended that other towns try the same idea.
The other activities of the Post had progressed in an especially satisfactory manner during the year. An entertainment committee had presented several amusing events for the benefit of the Post. The annual carnival was held at the end of summer and Bill Finger and Ivan Webster again raffled a car with great financial success. All in the year was highly successful and especially satisfactory was the silencing of the critics who had regarded the Legion worthy successors of the boys who had told of consuming exaggerated quantities of liquor in France years before.
Membership had increased, civic improvements such as the Safety Week under the direction of L.L.Meyer, finances were in good shape in spite of heavy drain of the convention and the year closed as one of the most successful in the history of the Post. For the coming year, L.J.Dixon was elected commander and the Post looked forward as if to say "What can I start next?"
The past year had seen the worst of the depression and things were improving during the summer of 1935. Income was increasing for the Post and the membership drive promised to be easier and more successful.
During October the Safety Week Committee under the direction of L. Meyer secured the Chicago Tribune testing equipment for Downers Grove. During the week it was set up on Burlington Ave. The various garage owners in Downers Grove contributed their services and several thousand cars were tested and their owners advised as to what they should to make them safe. In fact the work accomplished during the Safety Week campaign was so successful that a recommendation by the Post to the Village Commission resulted in the appointment of a Village Safety Committee as a permanent organization.
The usual Armistice Day Program was presented by the Post in November with Judge Alaban as the speaker.
For the past fifteen years the by-laws of the Post had been amended and changed until they had reached that stage that almost anything could be read from them. They were an astounding collection of rules and regulations, amendments, amendments to change amendments, repeal amendments and so on. A committee was appointed to draw up an entirely new set of by-laws and to see that there were no points that conflicted with the State or National rules.
The December business meeting was partially devoted to reading of the new by-laws, paragraph by paragraph. The by-laws were then printed and a copy mailed to each member. The membership would vote on the new by-laws at the January 1936 meeting.