The decision to organize an American Legion post came from the beliefs of these veterans that the American Legion was the best representative veterans’ organization in the country. That conclusion has been proven true, today the American Legion is the largest wartime veterans’ organization with thousands of local Posts throughout the United States and millions of members who truly care about American veterans’, their families and our nation’s youth.
The original meeting was called by the late Alexander Mann on June 4, 1919, at the Washington Navy Yard during the lunch hour, and the only place available was an empty freight car parked in the west yard. The car was Pennsylvania R.R. steel box car No. 10196. A number of names were suggested for the Post; some of them were: Maj. James E Walker, Cpl. William Medeley, Pvt. Kenneth Lewis, all of the 372nd Infantry, and Lieut. James Reese Europe, the noted band leader of the 369th Infantry. The vote, which was taken at 12:20 pm, chose the name of James Reese Europe. On June 27, 1919 the group who met at Erwin’s’ Hall received the Post Charter from the first Department Commander, E Lester Jones and the first Department Adjutant, Howard S. Fisk, who with appropriate ceremonies installed the following Officers: Alexander Mann, Commander; J.W. Franklin, First Vice Commander; R.L. Plummer, Second Vice Commander; Isaac Johnson, Finance Officer; and Ernest Moxley, Adjutant.
In 1944 through the sales of shares for the prospect of purchasing a Post Home, the member raised $3500 for the down payment on the property at 1314 Vermont Avenue NW. After nine years of occupancy the members found operating costs to great, therefore the members decided to purchase a smaller property. The current Post Home at 2027 North Capitol Street NE Washington DC was purchased in 1954. In 1963, before a large assembly of American Legion dignitaries and others, the James Reese Europe, Post No. 5, burned the mortgage.