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Sunday, November 11, 2012

40 et 8 - Convention Memento - 1927

What the well-dressed 40 et 8 member wore to the state convention back in 1927 was somewhat different than today. Here are some of the members of Cambria County Salon 55, 40 et 8, pictures during the 1927 convention in York. Left to right are Mrs. Milton R. Swank of Harrisburg, former Johnstowner and one of the organizers of the Johnstown and Pennsylvania state 40 et 8 units. Mrs. Joseph Thompson of Beaver Falls, Mrs. LeRoy Bidelman of 579 Harshberger Street, Mrs. M.C. Walker formerly of Johnstown and Mrs. A Harry Adler of 556 Colgate Avenue.

The Forty & Eight was founded in 1920 by American veterans returning from France. Originally an arm of The American Legion, the Forty & Eight became an independent and separately incorporated veteran's organization in 1960. Membership is by invitation to ALL honorably discharged veterans and honorably serving members of the United States Armed Forces.
The Forty & Eight is committed to charitable and patriotic aims. Their purpose is to uphold and defend the United States Constitution, to promote the well being of veterans and their widows and orphans, and to actively participate in selected charitable endeavors, which include programs that promote child welfare and nurse's training.
The titles and symbols of the Forty & Eight reflect its First World War origins. Americans were transported to the battle front on French trains within boxcars stenciled with a “40/8”, denoting its capacity to hold either forty men or eight horses. This uncomfortable mode of transportation was familiar to all who fought in the trenches; a common small misery among American soldiers who thereafter found “40/8” a lighthearted symbol of the deeper service, sacrifice and unspoken horrors of war that bind all who have borne the battle.

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