JAMES REESE EUROPE, POST NO. 5
At the end of World War I, a group of Washington,DC area World War I Veterans of color met during their lunch period in an empty Pennsyvania RR steel freight car No. 10196 parked in West yard of the Washington Navy Yard. The meeting on June 14, 1919 had been call by the late Alexander Mann to have the group make plans for establishing a Post in the newly created American Legion. One of the first business for the group was to pick a name for their Post. A Number of names were suggested for their Post; some of the names suggested were: Maj James E. Walker, Cpl William Medely, Pvt Kenneth Lewis, all of the 372nd Infantry and Lt James Reese Europe, the noted band leader of the 369th Infantry. At 12:20 PM on June 14,1919 a vote was taken and the group chose the name of James Reese Europe for their Post name. After the meeting, future Commander Alexander Mann was asked by the group to make arrangements for a meeting with DC Department American Legion Officials. The meeting was scheduled for June 27, 1919 at Irving Hall, 4th and D Street SW,WAshington,DC. During this meeting on June 27,1919, the 24 veterans of the James Reese Europe Post received the fifth American Legion Charter issued to a Post in the United States. During this meeting, the first DC Department Commander E. Lester and the first DC Department Adjutant, Howard S. Fisk 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 B. Moxley, Adjutant. The Post has met over the years at the following Places: Community Center on Georgia Avenue, the Dunbar High School, the 12th Street Branch Y.M.C.A.,and the Star Lodge No. 40 of Elks. In 1944 through the sales of shares for the prospect of purchasing a Post Home the members raised $3,500.00 for down payment on the property at 1314 Vermont Avenue ,NW. with the total cost being $18,000.00. After nine years of occupancy the members found the great overhead operating expenses too and the members decided to a purchase a smaller home. The current Post Home at 2027 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC .was purchased in 1954 at a cost of $13,159.00, plus cost of additional improvements. In 1963 before a large assembly of American Legion dignitaries and others the James Reese Europe, Post No.5, "burned the mortgage "after paying off the mortgage for the Post Home at 2027 North Capitol Street NE,Washington ,DC. The current members James Reese Europe, Post No.5,Inc. are proud and thankful for our Post's glorious history and we are most appreciative of those that made it all possible.
The decision by this first group 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, for today the American Legion is the largest wartime veterans' organization with nearly 15,000 local Posts throughout the United States and over 3 million members who truely care about America veterans, their families and our nation's youth.