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American Legion

From Academic Kids

The American Legion is an organization of veterans of the United States armed forces who served in wartime. In addition to organizing commemorative events and volunteer activities, the American Legion is active in US politics. Its primary political activity is lobbying for the interests of veterans, including support for veteran's benefits such as pensions and the VA hospital system; in addition, it promotes other patriotic causes such as respect for the American flag, including support for a Flag Burning Amendment or any other flag desecration. The organization has also recently supported the Boy Scouts of America in their efforts to refuse membership to gays. In addition, the American Legion is a firm supporter of religion and anti-atheism.

The state American Legions run an annual civic training event for high school juniors called Boys State. 2 members from each Boys State is selected for Boys Nation. The American Legion Auxiliary runs Girls State and Girls Nation.

The first national convention of the American Legion was held from November 10-12, 1919 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In the 1930s several of its leaders, including its original bankroller Irenee Du Pont, plotted a fascist coup against the Government of Franklin D. Roosevelt. The coup was averted thanks to Smedley Butler, who warned Roosevelt of the plan.

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