The Americanism work of the Auxiliary includes all activities tending to perpetuate American ideals and to uphold the principles of American democracy. The security of America lies in a citizenry in whose minds and hearts is ingrained a true understanding of and love for those ideals and principles upon which the nation was founded; a citizenry awake to the duties of citizenship and willing to perform these duties even at the cost of great personal sacrifice. Americanism work is largely educational in character and is usually divided into three phases: work with the youth, the adult, and the community. All matters pertaining to the flag or patriotic education are rightly classified as Americanism activities.
Every citizen should have a thorough knowledge and understanding of the Constitution of the United States. Therefore, the Auxiliary has a very definite objective in emphasizing through its Americanism program the teachings of good citizenship.
Active Americanism in the home; active Americanism in the Unit; active Americanism in youth groups; active Americanism in adult groups; and active Americanism in our community.
Revitalize our personal patriotism. Be able to answer “What kind of an American am I?” Take an interest in our country’s affairs. Express our belief in our love for America in our words and deeds. Inspire children and young people in our homes and schools to develop fine characters, high ideals and a sincere appreciation of our heritage. Be tolerant in thought and deeds towards others. Vote intelligently after careful study of candidates and issues.
Appoint an active Americanism chairman. Sponsor study classes for the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, flag etiquette, and great American characters. Plan a patriotic conference. Observe patriotic holidays. Display the flag, keep it clean, and fold it properly. Distribute flag etiquette brochures.
Present Americanism awards in schools. Sponsor debaters and essay contests. Present flags to schools. Encourage formation of student councils in elementary schools. Present records and/or tapes of the Star-Spangled to Banner to schools. Sponsor Boy and Girl Scout Troops.
Sponsor citizenship classes and present flag codes, American Creed, and small American flags to new citizens. Hold Americanism meetings and Community forums. Place flag study course in night schools for foreign-born.
Plan Town Meetings and other study groups, presenting both sides of a question. Help with community observance of patriotic holidays. Present fags where needed. Use both printed and electronic media when presenting Americanism programs. Watch for subversive group activities and report to proper authorities. Visit local government groups in action and show interest in school boards, City Councils, County Boards, and Town Meetings. Plant trees as memorials and study conservation programs.
The Americanism program of The American Legion embraces a multiplicity of activities. It necessitates real, honest, unselfish effort on the part of all members of The American Legion. The members of the Auxiliary can effectively make patriotism a personal matter and they can select and successfully carry out projects adaptable to the needs of their communities.
Spirit of Youth Fund
This fund was established by the American Legion Auxiliary to support programs for young people. Tax deductible contributions from individuals, organizations and estates are the basis of this permanent endowment fund for youth. The funds are expended for programs that benefit the youth of our nation an to enrich those programs which already exist. Two such programs are the Americanism Youth Conference conducted each spring for the Auxiliary by Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania and the four year “Spirit of Youth Scholarship” for Junior Members.