September 2, 2021

SAL History

Did you know?

Sept. 12-15, 1932: The Sons of The American Legion is established as a nonpolitical, non-sectarian civilian organization by the 14th National Convention of The American Legion in Portland, Ore.

1939: Membership in SAL is about 7 percent of the parent organization. The Sons group seems destined to grow. However, many members joined the armed services during World War II and died in combat. For those who did return, their service had made them eligible to join the ranks of The American Legion itself.

1953: Membership in the Sons drops to 5,631 from a high of 72,633 in 1939. A major factor for the decline is due to the former Sons, now veterans of World War II, having no children in the immediate postwar years.

April 30-May 1, 1964: The National Executive Committee passes Resolution 22, urging that the SAL program “be encouraged and implemented by internal promotion and increased public recognition through the National Headquarters staff and the various Departments of The American Legion.”

1964: The Sons conduct their first National SAL Workshop during The American Legion’s National Convention in Dallas.

May 8-9, 1969: The American Legion’s NEC gives its approval to Resolution 60, which creates a Sons of The American Legion Committee, consisting of four members and a chairman. Two of the members were from the ranks of the SAL, while the chairman and the other two members were Legionnaires.

May 3-4, 1972: The American Legion’s NEC approves Resolution 13, creating a national SAL organization under the full supervision and control of The American Legion’s NEC, thus opening the door for the Sons of The American Legion to hold its first National Convention in Chicago in August 1972. Resolution 13 also rescinded in its entirety the old SAL Constitution and Bylaws, as adopted in 1933.

May 2, 1973: The American Legion’s NEC approves Resolution 21, which establishes a procedure for handling matters originating from SAL National Conventions and SAL National Executive Committee meetings. All actions of the Sons of The American Legion National Convention and/or NEC are reviewed by The American Legion’s Internal Affairs Commission. The Internal Affairs Commission then affixes to its report to The American Legion’s NEC an addendum in digest form listing all such actions with a statement setting forth the Internal
Affairs Commission’s disposition of each action. Unless specific contrary action is taken by The American Legion’s NEC with respect to the addendum items, the disposition recommended by The American Legion’s Internal Affairs Commission becomes the disposition of the NEC.

Oct. 17-18, 1973: The American Legion approves Resolution 15, abolishing the National SAL Committee created by Resolution 60 in 1969. Responsibilities of the National SAL Committee are assigned to The American Legion’s Internal Affairs Commission.

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