Our new historical plaque! Since 1999, Palm Springs American Legion Post 519 has been a Palm Springs Class One Historic Site! (HSPB-36)


Palm Springs American Legion Post 519 dedicates new historic plaque

Owen Coffman Post 519 - Palm Springs , CA

Hello from Palm Springs! My name is Lee Wilson Jr., and I am the historian for Palm Springs Owen Coffman American Legion Post 519. On the 72nd anniversary of the opening of Post 519, we dedicated a new historic plaque to replace our old one (which was stolen!). Many local officials and dignitaries participated in the event. We received several proclamations for our event including one from the city, California State Senate, and the office of Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz.
Founded in 1934, Post 519's own War Memorial Building was dedicated on Jan. 3, 1948. Our post was designed by legendary Palm Springs architects John Clark and Albert Frey, well known for their "Modern" architecture around Palm Springs. Moreover, from 1948-1954, during the twilight era of radio, dozens of the biggest names in Hollywood played our stage to nationally broadcast shows on the CBS and NBC networks including Bob Hope, Jerry Colonna, Al Jolson, Doris Day, Judy Garland, Groucho Marx, Cary Grant, Jack Benny, Cary Grant and many others. Afterwards, we held an "Open House" showing off our legendary architecture, stage and fully restored radio room. Our long-term goal is to fully restore our post to its 1948 glory with a USO theme from the 1940s. This will take time and lots of money, however by opening up more to our community and showing off what we have to offer, we hope that this will become a reality! Please visit us! STAY TUNED!

From the left: Local entertainer Prince Fleet Easton sang our national anthem, former Palm Springs Mayor and Legion board member Robert Moon, Palm Springs City Councilwoman Lisa Middleton, Kitty Keiley Hayes, the niece of Owen Coffman for whom our post is named, David Miller from the Al Jolson Society, Peter Moruzzi, the president of the Palm Springs Modern Committee, Rene Brown from the Palm Springs Historical Society, California State Legion Commander Edward Grimsley, the mayor of Indio California and current California Senate District 26 chair Glenn Miller, Marine Corps veteran Patrick Keplinger representing Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz 36th District, Rudy Valadez, California Legion District 21 Commander, and Post 519 Commander Bryan Card.

For over 30 years, Kitty Kieley Hayes has been an elementary school teacher in Palm Springs. Her grandfather, Earl Coffman, founded Palm Springs Post 519 in 1934. The post is named for Earl's son/Kitty's uncle, 2nd Lt. Owen Coffman, a B-17 pilot killed in World War II. Owen was a graduate of Stanford University and was the first native-born son of Palm Springs to give his life in World War II. Post 519 commander Bryan Card assists Kitty to unveil our new plaque.

Former Palm Springs mayor Robert Moon is an Annapolis graduate and commanded frigates and destroyers in the 1980s. Post commander Bryan Card is a graduate of Rutgers University and was a Marine Corps major in legal affairs. Indio Mayor and current chair of California State Senate District 26 Glenn Miller is a big supporter of our vets.

Post 519 chaplain is Robert Johnson. Robert is a retired Air Force Lt. Col. and is well known locally for his dedication.

Former Mayor Moon and Honorary House member Robert Moon, Post 519 Commander Bryan Card and Palm Springs City Councilwoman Lisa Middleton, who presented a proclamation to our post.

Our proclamation marking our 72nd anniversary and new historic plaque.

Our post color guard presented colors. Looking good as always!

California State Legion Commander Edward Grimsley gave a special shout-out to our Legion Riders!

California District 21 Commander Rudy Valadez spoke about veteran issues and proudly represented our district!
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