The American Legion was formed by U.S. veterans following the conclusion of World War l, then called “The Great War.” lt received official recognition from congress in September 1919 as a patriotic society which championed veterans causes and commemorated patriotic events, From it’s meager beginnings in Paris, France, American Legion post sprang up in every state.
Just west of New Orleans, Louisiana, lies Jefferson Parish. ln 1919, it was sparsely populated and mostly covered with swamps. The small population lived in three areas. The first, being next to the Mississippi River was above sea level. The second, was along the banks of ancient Bayou Metairie (now Metairie Road) which was also above sea level. The third, was along the shore of Lake Pontchartrain where a few brave souls chose to live in houses on pilings.
The east end of East Jefferson Parish would one day support three American legion posts. East Jefferson is bounded by Lake Pontchartrain on the north, New Orleans on the east, the Mississippi River on the south, and the St. Charles Parish line in the west. Most of Jefferson Parish is unincorporated and all of the eastern end of East Jefferson Parish is also unincorporated. The east end of East Jefferson Parish comprises the areas of Old Metairie, Old Jefferson, Metairie Terrace, Bucktown, and Lakeshore. These areas are adjacent to the New Orleans Parish line and these are the areas that the three American Legion post primarily draw their membership from.
Even with the opening of the Airline Highway (U.S.61) in the 1930’s, population growth in Jefferson Parish would be slow. In the late 1950’s, population would grow rapidly in Jefferson Parish’ This was due to three factors. The car culture of American society, the desire to move to the suburbs, and white flight from the city of New Orleans. Today, all of East Jefferson Parish is urban.
The first American Legion post established in East Jefferson Parish was soon to be known as American Legion Post 175. lt was established by W.W.l veterans and it was chartered on February 3, 1920. lt would remain the only American Legion post on the east end of East Jefferson Parish until after World War ll. World War ll produced millions of veterans who came home wanting to join the American Legion. Established posts were soon bursting at the seams and new posts were rapidly being established. Post 267 in Old Jefferson was chartered in the late 1940’s. There was need for an additional post in the Metairie area and a group of veterans would answer the call.