South Dakota American Legion Auxiliary



Elaine Ekle


American Legion Auxiliary, Department of SD

314 W. 3rd Street

Canton, SD 57013

Cell:  605-261-2442



The History Committee preserves displays and shares the history of the American Legion Auxiliary.  The heart of the Auxiliary is in its unique records, items that our officers, members, directors, employees and volunteers have donated, produced and compiled over the years.  They provide unique testimony to the achievements of the organization, stimulate pride and enthusiasm among our members, and are invaluable to society by serving as informative and educational resources to a variety of potential users.

 “The future can only be judged by the past,” it is really important for you to write a history for your Department this year. My goal for all units this year is to have you record and report your history to me.

 What can you do?


1.     If your unit currently has a History/Cavalcade committee or chairman here are a few ideas:


·       Share Auxiliary memorabilia with your unit/department chairman(Elaine Ekle)

·       Ask longtime members or family members of deceased members if they would like to donate an item in memory of their loved one to the unit

·       If you enjoy history and want to learn more, volunteer to be the chairman for your unit


·       Appoint a chairman and invite members to participate

·       Post your history on the Legion’s Centennial Celebration webpage at

·       Involve Junior members in your activities to help them earn their History patch

·       Create displays that are attractive, interesting and relevant

·       Share important historical events with the chairman and post on the auxiliary website at

·       Store your important information properly to preserve it

·       Periodically, feature a historical item or write an article about an important time in your unit’s history for your newsletter

·       Partner with local museums, or merchants to display your history

2.     If your unit does not currently have a History/Cavalcade committee or chairman initiate the project, here are a few ideas:


·       Gather photos and documents from events, record where they were taken as well as the activity and people in the photos.

·       Learn the history of your unit, department and national organization. Volunteer to put the history together if you do not have a written document.


·       Your history is in more places than just artifacts.  It is in your meeting minutes, governing documents, newspaper articles, photos, etc.  Set up a system as to how these will be kept.

·       Start a record management system, check with a local library or school to store records if your unit does not have the space or a place to store it.

3.     Become visible throughout your community and let them know the ALA’s history and contributions to the community, state, nation and world.


·       Talk about the history of your unit/department at other community functions you attend

·       Invite people to tour your Cavalade of Memories, photos, documents, etc.

·       Tell your story, refer to “What’s your Story” article in Resources at




                                                                   Mid Year Reports          Year End Reports


From Units to District Presidents              November 15, 2016           April 15, 2017

From District Presidents to Dept.Chair     December 1, 2016             May 1, 2017

From Department Chair to Dept. Pres.

And National Divisional Chairman            December 15, 2016           May 15, 2017 


Mid-year reports include activities from April 1 to November 1, year-end reports include all activities from April 1 through March 31.  Please make sure to send your information to me at:  Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I look forward to hearing about your history.


Please check our South Dakota website at: for how to sheets and forms


History is more than artifacts and/or a summary of events listed in a dusty book somewhere. As we look back on our achievements, let us make history come alive!