Since the establishment in 1930, American Legion Federal Post No. 19 has served as a faithful steward to Baltimore's African American veterans and the larger community. Members from this post worked within the larger American Legion organization to fight for equality, not just in the legion but nationwide.
The U.S. Congress chartered the American Legion in 1919 to provide services for returning soldiers. Although the organization officially banned discrimination, it was segregated. African American veterans formed their own posts; the first in Baltimore, the Walter Green Post No. 14, dates to shortly after World War I. Members of the Walter Green Post No. 14 established Federal Post No. 19 for war veterans who also held federal jobs.
From its founding, members of Federal Post No. 19 have been active in leadership positions with the state and federal levels of the American Legion. Post members have also been historically involved with the West Baltimore community and have been recognized with numerous service awards.
Post No. 19 was home to the state's first black American Legion drum and bugle corps in Maryland: the Blue Helmets. From the 1930s through the "70s, the much-awarded Blue Helmets served as an ambassador of the city, performing in countless conventions, parades, and competitions.
Legion Federal Post No. 19 moved to its current location in the early 1940s. Today the post welcomes veterans from contemporary wars to join them in their work to enhance and strengthen Baltimore's youth and neighborhoods.
American Legion Federal Post No. 19-Commander, Lawrence S. Little; 1st Vice Commander, Thomas J. Kennedy, Jr.; Finance Officer, Betty Bonds; Adjutant, Kendall Cooper.
American Legion Federal Post No. 19, Sponsor; Catherine E. Pugh Mayor-Baltimore City Landmark, Baltimore National Heritage Area.