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THE FOUNDING OF RAINBOW POST 2

Numerous 1st World War veterans from the 42nd Infantry Division in Europe,  returning to Council Bluffs, established an American Legion post which they named Council Bluffs World War Veterans Post.  Our post was renamed Rainbow Post in honor of veterans from the 42nd Division.  The name Rainbow, as legend has it, was a nickname given by Major Douglas MacArthur, Chief of Staff of the 42nd Division, when he observed a striking display of flags and pennants representing 26 states and the District of Columbia reminding him of a colorful rainbow. 


These Council Bluffs veteran delegates took an overnight train to Iowa Department Headquarters in Des Moines to deliver their application for charter, per Legion members John DeWitt (Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil 4/11/1946) and Raymond Smith (Council Bluffs Daily Nonpareil 7/6/1975) and Jacob A. Swisher, renowned historian and author of The American Legion in Iowa 1919-1929.  The delegates arrived first thing the morning of May 12, 1919 only to discover the Spencer, IA delegates had arrived before them in a Ford Model T. Even though Spencer received the assignment of Post #1, the Legionnaires of Council Bluffs accepted the placing of 2nd with pride.    

In the beginning, Post #2 Legionnaires conducted business at various venues in our city.  Weeks after the unexpected military strike by the Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service upon U.S. naval base at Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, Hawaii December 7, 1941 Legionnaires realized the necessity for a permanent place to conduct their business due to the anticipation of potential 2nd World War veteran recruits.  Post #2 established the Binder Building at 2325 Pearl Street (currently a parking lot) and held a grand opening September of 1947.  In 1995-1996 Rainbow Post #2 moved into our current building (formerly known as the Danish Hall) located at 716 S. 4th St.  

(research by Greg Casady, Historian and Bradley Powell, E-Board Officer Member-at-Large)