The American Legion Homer Dillard Post #78 was organized and chartered in 1931 by a group of WW1 African American Veterans who were previously denied membership in the local American Legion Post due to being not fully accepted as Veterans due to their race. They perservered and formed their own unit under the guidance of Dr. Dana O. Baldwin, (the influential African American doctor--and first doctor from Martinsville to volunteer to serve in WW1). Banded together the group of 20 African American Veterans submitted an application for its own post and teh American Legion issued them a permanent charter on April 24, 1931. The post was awarded (IRC)Section 501C (19) tax-expempt status on January 19, 2017.
The post was named Homer Dillard, the first African American from Martinsville/Henry County, to die as a result of WW1--though he did not die in the war. Rather, he succumbed to the Spanish Flu at Fort Lee, VA on October 10, 1918.
The post met at the Masonic Lodge and various locations throughout Martinsville & Henry County for a number of years. In August 2000 it purchased its present post home from the Meadowview African American Episcopal Church. Extensive renovations were made including: brick casing the building, adding andother room, new restrooms, central heating and air-conditioning, and upgrading the electrical system. A metal roof and canopy was later added.
A Women's Auxiliary of American Legion Post 78 was formed on March 7, 1985. The Legion has every reason to be proud of it's Auxiliary. Auxiliary members are always anxious and willing to co-operate in every Legion activity.
A Sons of the Legion for American Legion Post ____ was formed on _______. The Legion has every reason to be proud of it's Sons of Legion unit, which gained statewide recognition because of it's programs of service.
MEMORIAL DAY has always been an outstanding occasion in this community. In addition to memorial events throughout the _____ community, the goal of every Veteran to it's last man is to keep MEMORIAL DAY sacred to the memory of our war dead of all of the wars of the country; and all graves are decorated on this National Holiday.
ARMISTICE DAY, now called VETERANS' DAY, originally marked the end of fighting in World War I. It is an important holiday on the calendar of Legionnaires everywhere and in the hearts of all Veterans. It has been in ____. Annually the Post sponsored the Armistice Day Parade. An important tradition was established when the Post led in the memorial exercises at 11 o'clock on the morning of November 11, marking the exact hour of the cessation of hostility on the war fronts.
Registration Of Graves
Since it's inception American Legion Post 78 has been a leader in this community in the area of graves registration; which has been incorporated by all the American Legion Posts in Henry County. Grave Registration enables all interested parties to locate the site of the grave of each Veteran. American Legion Post 78 acquired a burial lot in Fairhaven Cemetery and this has been marked by the erection of a massive monument marking it as the burial lot for servicemen without kin. Each year, active members place a flag on each Veteran's grave.
Scholarships and Community Projects
American Legion Homer Dillard Post #78 sponsors various scholarships for the further education of our children. We also sponsor and financially assist many worthy community projects and programs initiated by the National American Legion.
Join Us and Keep this History Alive