A Community of Volunteers Serving Veterans, Military, and their Families

History Committee

Department of Alaska
History Chairman - 2021-2022
Department of Alaska Historian - 2021-2022
Lori Fruhwirth Email: lfruhwirth@hotmail.com

2021-2022 American Legion Auxiliary History Committee

What is this program?

The history of the American Legion Auxiliary begins back in November of 1919 and continues with you. History is more than names and dates, it is about its membership. When an organization’s history is told through the eyes of its members, everyone learns more about who we are, what we do and why we matter.

The heart of any organization’s history is in its records. Maintaining and preserving our records are invaluable to society by serving as informative and educational resources to a variety of potential users. An organization benefits itself and the public by preserving its records and making them available for use by everyone inside and outside the organization. Members are able to look back and learn what efforts were successful, or unsuccessful, and why. Understanding the missteps as well as the achievements can assist in determining a stronger future strategy. Non-members can look back at all the American Legion Auxiliary has contributed to society and learn about our programs, helping them to decide about becoming a member.

The ALA history is contained in artifacts, our documents, newspaper articles, publications, meeting minutes, photos, newsletters, written/oral histories, etc. We do this to honor those m members who have made differences in our organization at all levels. Additionally, history allows us to build a stronger organization based on those experiences. The Cavalcade of Memories Museum, as well as the library and archives located at ALA Headquarters, serves as a resource for our members, volunteers, staff, and the general public.

What can we do?

Honor our veterans, auxiliary officers, and members significant to our history through written accounts, videos, photos and displays.

Ideas for the individual member:

  • Share Auxiliary memorabilia with your unit/department
  • Ask longtime members or family of deceased members to donate items of history
  • If you enjoy history and want to learn more, volunteer to be the Historian/Cavalcade chairman for your Unit.
  • Participate in the Members Remember project (see Resources).
  • Create displays that are attractive, interesting, and relevant.
  • Highlight historical/important/interesting events in your unit/department.
  • Include memorabilia of your honorary Junior presidents.
  • Use new technology to create and maintain digital images and records. Be sure to make more than one digital copy and store them in different places.
  • Make an inventory of your entire collection. This includes your organizational documents, written histories, scrapbooks etc. Be sure to include information such as who donated an item and when.
  • Periodically feature a historical item or write an article about an important time in the unit’s/department’s history for your newsletter.
  • Attend local workshops to learn preservation and conservation methods.
  • Partner with local museums, historical societies, public libraries, or local merchants for consulting and displaying.
  • Gather photos and document the event(s) at which they were taken as well as the people in the photos.
  • Learn the history of your unit, department, and national organization. If you do not have a written unit history volunteer to help put one together.

Ideas for Units:

  • Appoint a History/Cavalcade Committee Chairman.
  • Your history is in more than just artifacts. It is in your meeting minutes, governing documents, newspaper articles, photos, etc. Set up a system as to how these will be kept.
  • Make sure you initiate a record management program. Review the records management policy sample in the Departments Operation Guide to see which records you are mandated to keep permanently.
  • If you have no room to keep these items, contact a local historical society, state library, or university to see if they can keep them for you.
  • Ask members to consider donating or loaning important items they have.
  • Set up displays showcasing your unit’s history.
  • Become visible throughout your community and let them know the ALA’s history and contributions to the community, state, nation, and the world.
  • Talk about the history of your unit/department at other community functions you attend.
  • Invite people to tour your Cavalcade of Memories, photos, documents, etc.
  • Partner with local museums, historical societies, public libraries, or university for consulting, displaying, and preservation advice.
  • Ask longtime members of the Auxiliary to share their stories in a video.
  • Write your Unit’s history.
  • Bring your History Book to the Department meeting in April.


Mid-Year Reports There are not Mid-Year Reports this year. However, National is requesting Units to share their stories and photos of their events as they happen.

Year-End Reports- Annual reports reflect the programs work of the Units in our Department and may result in a National award, if award requirements are met. Each Unit is required to submit a narrative and statistical report by April 15, 2022.

In the narrative section please explain how your Unit worked this program including answers to the following:

  • How did you promote this committee within your unit?
  • How did your unit encourage support of this committee by its members?
  • How did your unit support the purpose of the committee?
  • How did your unit promote the program within their community?

In the statistical section of the report, please provide a total for the unit for the following:

  • How many members involved
  • How many hours they put in
  • How many people benefited
  • How much money was spent
  • How much money was raised

Other Important Dates:

The month of March is dedicated to the celebration of women’s history. It corresponds with International Women’s Day on March 8th. What could be better for a women’s organization to do than celebrate their own history?

How to Sheets: (click for details)

Additional Resources:

  • Veterans History Project - In an effort to preserve the personal accounts of American war veterans, we encourage our local units to support Veterans History Project. Capturing the stories will ensure that future generations of Americans are afforded a firsthand look at the realities of war.
  • TAL Historian Facebook Group encourages all ALA Historians to join this group to share ideas and suggestions about how we can best record the history of this great organization. If you would like to join there are three questions to answer. American Legion Auxiliary Historians I Facebook.
  • Record activity within your Unit and send to your Department Historian, Lori Fruhwirth via e-amil lfruhwirth@hotmail.com (including photos)


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