During World War I, families began to hang flags in their windows that displayed a gold star for each relative killed in military service. The title “gold star mother” was used unofficially to describe a woman who had lost a child in service until the national organization American Gold Star Mothers, Inc., was established in 1929. Many Minnesota mothers claimed membership, and local Minnesota chapters followed.
A poster featuring the image of three men in suits walking away from a pile of Navy and Army uniforms. Text reads "Let's stick / together / Back into "cits" and - / the AMERICAN LEGION". From the Harkin Store in New Ulm, Minnesota, and retailed during World War I, ca. 1918.
Small circular button that reads "FIRST AMERICAN LEGION CONVENTION MINNEAPOLIS". It has a pin backing and was made by Williamson Stamp Co., Minneapolis. It commemorates the first convention held by the American Legion in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in November, 1919.
At the close of World War I, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) was the only centralized veterans’ organization prepared to help returning soldiers re-enter civilian life and to assist the families of the deceased. The American Legion formed soon after the war in order to serve veterans returning from Europe. Minnesota’s department of the Legion answered the call, creating programs that assisted veterans and led the way for the organization.