Post 28 History - Eight decades of service to our veterans and our community

 

Highlights of 1931 through 1939

 

1931: Lewis Babcock and W. L. A. Strawbridge envision a need for an American Legion Post for Takoma Park. They obtain the signatures of fifteen World War One veterans and apply for a charter from the Department of maryland.

 

July 1931: For increased membership Post #28 receives the "Mattingly Trophy" and a National Commander's "Citation for Distinguished Service."

 

March 31, 1931: The Post, near the meeting point of Prince George's and Montgomery Counties, and Washington D. C., is officially organized. Department Commander George Henderson installs the officers.

 

May 7, 1931: The National American Lemon grants a temporary charter to Takoma Park Post//28. The first meeting is held in the Takoma Park Fire Hall on Carroll Avenue.

 

September 16, 1931: The National American Legion grants a permanent Charter to seventy members of Takoma Park Post #28 in Montgomery County.

 

October 1931: Mrs. Charles Hartley helps organize The American Legion Auxiliary of Post #28.There are 11 members at the first meeting held at her home.

 

January, 1932: Mrs. Charles Conrad, President of the maryland Auxiliary, presented the unit with its Charter. Mrs. T. Walker, past District President of the Auxiliary, presented Mrs. Conrad with a gavel. During its first year, the auxiliary is active in relief work and food and clothing collections for needy families. The membership increases to 25.

 

February 9, 1933: Takoma Park Post #28 is designated as the "Flag Post" of the State by the Department of maryland. Several Embassies of our World War One Allies present their Nation's flag to the Post.

 

November 11, 1933: Post #28 participates in the Armistice Day Ceremonies at Arlington Cemetery with amassing of Allied flags. A member of the post, bearing that Countries' flag, accompanies a representative of each Allied Nation of Word War I as they advance and place a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

 

Highlights of 1940 through 1949

 

December, 1941: Morris Miller of Washington, D.C. donates to the Post the first building. The one story (15'x12') building is the foyer and powder room of our present Post. W. H. McCeney is responsible for having it transported and placed upon our property. Mr. McCeney also furnishes the material and builds a boardwalk the length of the front of the building.

 

1942: Post #28 Commander Martin F. Iverson supervises the construction of a 25' tall tower attached to the southwest side of the original building. The tower is 100 square feet at the base with a windowed room, siren and navigation light on top. The tower is used as a Civil Defense plane spotter observation tower during World War II.

 

July 1943: Martin Iverson becomes the 28th Commander of the Department of maryland.

 

February 23, 1944: In exchange for $1,000, Mr. Robert E. Latimer conveys a deed of two plots of land (6.62 acres) to Post #28 with the understanding the land is to be used for American Legion activities. It is the last part of 182.74 acres the Latimer Company owned and used to mine gravel. Mr. Latimer donates the $1,000 back and is responsible for having the land graded for the Post home.

 

1946: Members of Post #28 acquire World War II Army surplus ordinance from the

Bainbridge Training Center on the Susquehanna River. The 3" ami-aircraft artillery piece with a welded breech remains at the entrance to the Post,

 

1947: Post #28 acquires a (60'x25') surplus former Quonset hut used in World War Two. An exterior (12'x60') wood-frame office/storage room runs the length of the northwest side of the original building. The Quonset hut is transformed into a meeting room with a small kitchen in the southeast corner. The office/storage area is changed into a bar, passageway, and furnace room.

 

February 18, 1948: Prince George's County Commissioners issue a permit for a club house on the premises of Latimer's Gravel Pit. The pit is located on the north side of Powdermill Road about one-quarter of a mile west of Cherry Hill Road and three miles east of Beltsville. It is zoned "Residential "A".

 

Highlights of 1950 through 1959

 

August 23, 1951: First-Lieutenant John Latimer, U.S. Army, is one of nine people killed when an Air Force C-47 crashes near the Summit Alaska airport.

 

1953: Rest rooms are added to the northeast side of the original structure.

 

June, 1956: High Point High School presents the first "American Legion Awards" from Post #28. The faculty elected two graduating seniors best representing "courage, honor, leadership, patriotism, scholarship and service."

 

1957: Workers from the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission place a 10" square cement marker with a circular 3 1/2" diameter metal disk on Post #28 property. They designate this as the highest point in Prince George's County. The compass bearings are southwest of the edge of the driveway and 9' northwest of Powdermill Road. On the disk is written "Azimuth Mark U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey." National Geodetic Survey has no record of this marker.

 

October 17, 1958: The National Organization of The American Legion Headquarters grants a Supplemental Charter changing Takoma Park Post #28 to the John B, Latimer Post #28.

Highlights of 1960 through 1969

 

November 22, 1963: An assassin kills President John Kennedy as he passes the Texas Book Depository in Dallas, Texas.

 

November 17, 1968: The National American Legion Headquarters grants a Temporary Charter naming the John F. Kennedy Memorial Post #287 in Langley Park, maryland. Regular meetings are held at the Adelphi Mill Community building

Highlights of 1970 through 1979

 

January 1970: Post #28 hosts it's first annual "Super Bowl Party." Initially it is a Post Office celebration, and it is gradually taken over by the members of the post.

 

October 9, 1973: The National Organization of The American Legion grants a Permanent Charter in effect combining Post #287 with Post #28 and changing the name to Kennedy- Latimer Post #28. The Southern maryland District and the maryland Convention approve the transfer of Post #28 to Prince George's County.

 

January 11, 1974: The American Legion Auxiliary grants a Charter establishing an Auxiliary of Kennedy-Latimer Post #28.

 

July 9, 1974: The former plane observation tower is discovered to be so severely infested with termites that it is torn down and burned. Nothing is salvaged.

 

March 11, 1976: The National Convention of the American Legion grants a Charter to Post #28 Sons of The American Legion.

 

June, 1977: Post #28 member, Colonel Charles Vasitiadis, Commander of Aerospace Science Staff at High Point High School, presents the first American Legion medals to JROTC cadets. Patrick Davis receives the medal for scholastic excellence, and Cheryl Ludwig receives the medal for highest military excellence.

 

January 1, 1979: The members of Post #28 dedicate the newly built 650 square foot extension to the bar. The bricks used in the construction of the supports and stairs are salvaged from a demolished house on Washington Boulevard in Baltimore. The house had been built from bricks used as ballast in British sailing ships arriving in Baltimore Harbor. Fred Ridgeway cleans and transports them to the Post, and Bill Baker contracts for the brickwork.

 

August, 1979: Members of Post #28 help construct a bar-b-que pit about 60' southwest of the Post Home. They build a Pagoda type structure which simultaneously protects from the rain and dissipates the smoke. Fred Ridgeway pours two cement slabs 12'x6' and Yx4', and Jay Van Kirk completes the brickwork.

Highlights of 1980 through 1989

 

April, 1980: Post #28 rifle team places third in national competition. The Post pistol team places eighth.

 

September, 1984: Members of Post #28 add 1,000' square feet to the Post home. The addition includes a kitchen, preparation room and storage area. This is dedicated to Past Post Commander Fred T. Ridgeway.

 

May 17, 1987: The Veterans of Foreign Wars presents Post #28 a Meritorious Distinguished Service Award in furthering the aims and ideals of the Veteran's of Foreign Wars of the United States.

 

June 1988: Prince George's County police officer, Sergeant John Decker, receives Post#28's first annual "Policeman of the Year "award.

Highlights of 1990 through 1999

 

1990: The Post hall is renovated and modernized under the direction of Bob Rosenburg.

 

1991: Post #28 Commander Gene Trenton installs the ceiling and new lighting in the Post hall.

 

June, 1993: Past Commander Arthur Door is elected Commander of the Prince George's County Council of the American Legion.

 

July 1, 1994: Thirty-year-old Gregory Ladd becomes the youngest post commander in maryland. He is the first veteran of Desert Storm elected Commander of Post #28.

 

1994: An original charcoal drawing of two men in combat is presented to Post #28. The artist is Ward Kennedy; the son-in-law of Ladies Auxiliary member Marlene O'Brien.

 

1995: Post #28 is connected to the sewer system. Members rebuild the bar-b-que pit after it is destroyed by controlled burning during the clean up of the wooded area.

 

June,1995: Prince George's County fireman, Brian Addis, receives Post #28's first annual "Firefighter of the Year" award.

 

July 4, 1996: Commander Schulze initiates an Independence Day Family Picnic with the

understanding that this will become and annual event.

 

August, 1996: The first annual Kennedy-Latimer Golf Tournament is held at Bowie Country Club. Jonnie Stevens, Glen Wynkoop, Dave Duttery, and Mike Anderson tied for low score.

 

October, 1996: The monthly "The American Legion" column first appears in the Beltsville News.

 

January, 1997: The Prince George's County Health Department licenses the Post #28 kitchen. This license enables food to be served at the post five days a week. The Department conducts a "Level "B" Food Handler's Course certifying a dozen post members.

 

May, 1997: Bobby Queen begins the initial work on a nature trail around the perimeter of the Post property. Part of the trail includes the old road bed of Powdermill Road. Documents record the existence of this road during the Civil War, and there is excellent reason to believe this was its location during the American Revolution.

 

June, 1997: Greg Fuqua, with help from others, supervises and installs new lights for the horseshoe pits. Calverton Exxon underwrote the cost of the material and Percontee Inc. furnishes heavy equipment for the construction.

 

August 19, 1997: Department of maryland Historian, Shelly Sines, presents the "1997 Department History Award" (Posts with membership of 101-250) to Post #28.

 

 

Highlights of 2000 to the 2003

 

In Progress

 

 

Historical information provided by James W. Pierce

For updates to this Website contact the Post 28 Historian rick@secondstartotheright.com