Robert Sweeney
Preamble to the Constitution of The American Legion

For God and Country
we associate ourselves  
together for the
following purposes:

To uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States of

To maintain Law and Order;

To foster and perpetuate a one hundred percent Americanism;

To preserve the memories and incidents of our associations in
the Great Wars;

To inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the Community,
State and Nation;

To combat the autocracy of both the classes and the masses;

To make right the Master of Might;

To promote Peace and Goodwill on earth;

To safeguard and transmit to posterity the principles of Justice,
Freedom and Democracy;

To consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by our devotion to
mutual helpfulness.

A Bit of History

At the St. Louis Caucas in May of 1919, the Committee on
Constitution presented a simplified temporary constitution that
incorporated the Paris draft. This constitution defined local units
as posts, prescribed a form of state organization and listed
membership criteria. But its greatest feature went unnoticed at
the time.

A subcommittee consisting of John C. Greenaway of Arizona,
Hamilton Fish of New York and George N. Davis of Delaware
had spent long evenings discussing a preamble to the
constitution. Each man went into seclusion the night before the
St. Louis Caucus to write a draft of the preamble that would
include the principles on which they had agreed. Early the next
morning, they met to compare their drafts. The version that they
adopted later was adopted by the entire committee and by the
caucas. It finally was adopted at the Convention in November of

Incredibly, over the years the preamble has changed only once.
In 1942 the word "war" (Great War) was changed to "wars."
(Great Wars)
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