Yesterday was Grandparents Day, a day to recognize grandmothers and grandfathers. 75 years ago, Legionnaires William Ringhofer and Robert Evans created their own way to celebrate grandfathers.

On December 16, 1943, Ringhofer’s daughter and Evans’s daughter-in-law gave birth to a child. The two men celebrated their mutual granddaughter by creating a special club for Legionnaires who were also grandfathers: The American Legion Post 77 Grandfather’s Club.

Members met annually at a dinner in April or May. The main course was usually a baron of beef or sirloin steak “with all the trimmings.” New grandfathers who wanted to join the club paid dues with a “bottle of cheer,” preferably Old Grand-Dad brand whiskey. 

Today, the Grandfather’s Club is still in existence and has the distinction of being the only Legion Grandfather’s Club in the nation.

View more history for Post 77 in Owatonna, Minnesota