The ninth National Convention was held September 19-22. 1927, in Paris France. The Legion sent a large delegation of upwards to thirty thousand Legionnaires, their wives and guests. The visit was a continuous round of dinners, tours, official meetings and the parade, held on the first day, which up to that time was the largest parade held by the legion. It is estimated that over a million people witnessed the gala event.
The Convention which was opened at 8:00 in the morning the first day, by National Commander Howard P. Savage, held in the Trocadero Palace. After greetings from the President of France, Gaston Doumergue, and other guests, The commander took the podium and gave a speech of opening, flanked by the Zouave’s troop from Jackson Michigan.
The parade consisting of sixty-one divisions and 20,000 Legionnaires and members of the Auxiliary, stepped off, at 1:30 pm. The great parade lead by a black sedan in which rode General Pershing, Marshall Foch and National Commander Savage, was followed by a troop of the Republican Guard, a group of color bearers. Then came the Legion, in a position of honor, the Monahan Post Band, from Sioux City, Iowa. The Canadians, the delegation from Alabama, and the first large delegation from Florida. On passed each division, lead by their Department Commander.
“The large delegation from New York State was being lead by a charming young women, representing the Statue of Liberty, she was well in the lead. The cheers for her were thunderous and were maintained as the Erie County Drum and Bugle Corps from Buffalo, NY, in blue and gray uniforms and silver steel helmets, passed by. The General Lafayette Police Post composed of two hundred imposing New York policemen, came next, followed by the Thomas B. Wanamaker Post, led by two horsemen and composed of a large band in scarlet coats and navy blue trousers with gold stripe. Girls in blue and white uniforms, nurses, and the khaki-clad Oneida, NY, band brought up the delegation.”

The second day the high point of the day was the speech given by General Pershing. The third day was the announcement that the Monahan Post Band had won the band contest for the sixth time. Franklin, Ohio, second, Weymouth, Massachusetts, third, the Orange Band from St. Petersburg, Florida, fourth, and the Clearwater, Pennsylvania, fifth. In the Drum & Bugle contest, Harvey W. Seeds, Post of Miami, Florida, first, Kankakee, Illinois, second, Erie County, New York, third, Fort Dodge, Iowa, fourth, Racine, Wisconsin, fifth, and Charlotte, North Carolina, sixth. The fourth day was the election of the new National Commander, Edward Elwell Spafford, from New York, along with five National Vice-Commanders, John T. Raftis, Paul A. Younts, Dan Spurlock, J.M. Henry, and Ralph P. O’Neill. The Convention was then closed.
Before the start of the convention and afterwards, tours of the battlefields and cemetery’s were conducted for the legionnaires and guests. The National Commander went on tours of the various country’s in Europe, for over a month, before departing for home. All guests and legionnaires were treated royally by everyone and the French Government. The next year the French government sent to each Legionnaire, that attended the Convention a medal, and a note of thanks, through their own Department Headquarters. (Source: The Story of the Second A.E.F. 1927, by Chet Shafer).

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