Since 1927, the Post 1 American Legion family has occupied the same facility (originally called the "Hut") at 1120 East 8th Street. The plaque commemorating the dedication of our facility on May 14, 1927 hangs in our foyer to this day. The story behind the construction and dedication of our facility reflects the solid commitment of the people of Tulsa to the future welfare of its veterans; the generosity of Waite Phillips, a prominent Tulsa oilman and philanthropist; and the civic spirit of the Joe Carson Legion family, as expressed in its service to the community and its commitment to the four pillars of The American Legion. Tulsa knew the Joe Carson Post family would serve veterans well from this new facility.

Legion membership was waning in Tulsa in the mid-1920s. From 1919 to 1927, Post 1 met in a series of temporary locations, and Post 1 leaders knew that the best way to reverse the trend of declining membership was to build a permanent home for the post. These leaders launched a campaign to arouse public support for a permanent Post 1 home, ultimately securing donation of land from the City of Tulsa, and a $22,000 pledge from Waite Phillips to fund the cost of erecting and furnishing a building from which the Legion family would serve its membership and all veterans in Tulsa. These generous donations, valued at $30,000 (an inflation adjusted value of $300,000 in 2015 dollars), allowed construction and furnishing of the "Hut," completed in the Spring of 1927. The name understated the real nature of the new Post 1 facility, which was located near downtown Tulsa on several acres of City parkland, and included a building with office space, a separate room for the Auxiliary, and an auditorium seating over 300 people. This was truly a wonderful facility to serve veterans.

A public dedication ceremony was held on May 14, 1927 to celebrate the opening of the new Post 1 "Hut." As reported in the Tulsa Tribune and Tulsa Daily World, the celebration was attended by over 600 Post 1 members and guests, along with dignitaries from across Oklahoma. The festivities began with a banquet at the Hotel Tulsa for hundreds of veterans of the Civil War, Spanish-American War and Great War, followed by a parade, led by the American Legion Drum Corps, from the hotel to the new post Hut. On arrival at the Hut, the marchers were greeted by members of service organizations who served American troops in France during the Great War. These service organizations replicated their wartime role by serving refreshments to the hundreds of members and guests in "true Army fashion." Salvation Army women served doughnuts, the Knights of Columbus distributed cigarettes, and the YMCA and Jewish Relief served ice cream.

Dignitaries from the city and from across the state of Oklahoma participated in the festivities. Mr. Phillips, who was not able to attend, sent a sentimental letter which was read to the crowd. In it, Phillips praised the veterans for their service, and expressed his humble gratitude for the opportunity to donate the building and its furnishings. Phillips, not a veteran himself, recalled that his beloved father was a Union Civil War veteran rendered deaf by shellfire at the battle of Vicksburg. Phillips revealed that his most treasured possession was his father's "copper Grand Army button which he willed to me at his death."

The state president of the American Legion Auxiliary expressed gratitude for the special room set aside for Unit 1 of the American Legion Auxiliary observing, "that shows you appreciate our efforts."

The most notable speaker of the night was prominent Tulsa lawyer and Great War veteran Colonel Patrick G. Hurley, chairman of the Joe Carson Post 1 building committee. After thanking Mr. Phillips and the city for their generosity, Colonel Hurley recognized the most important member of the audience. Pointing to the mother of Joe Carson, he accepted the land and building "in the memory of Joe Carson and his Gold Star mother, who has honored us by her presence tonight."

In addition to these and other speeches, the Post 1 American Legion quartet sang patriotic songs, and the Post 1 American Legion band played "pep songs" to rouse the spirits of the crowd. The celebration was a stirring demonstration of public spirit by the people of Tulsa and the Legion family.

The donation of the Hut rekindled interest in Post 1 and its programs. Membership immediately skyrocketed, allowing Post 1 to expand its service to the community. This explosion of interest was ignited by the generosity of the Tulsa community, which recognized the American Legion family's permanent, valuable role as a veterans service organization in the Tulsa community. Tulsa's investment, repaid by decades of Post 1 service to Tulsa, continues to reap rewards to this day.

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