American Legion secured a 24-hour guard for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier 82 years ago today
On July 2, 1937, approval was granted for 24-hour guarding of the tomb — even in situations of hazardous weather conditions. The change came following efforts from the American Legion for nonstop oversight.
The American Legion has played a significant role in the tomb’s history. When American Legion founder Hamilton Fish was elected in 1920 after World War I, he introduced legislation to remember an unknown soldier who was buried in France. Then-President Warren G. Harding dedicated the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in 1921 in the presence of Allied generals and American Legion members, according to the veterans group.
Incrementally, the tomb has received increased surveillance. For example, the American Legion won a victory when it secured overnight surveillance for the tomb in 1926.
The 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, stationed at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, is responsible for guarding the tomb.