The Jesse Clipper American Legion Celebrated their 100th year anniversary on Saturday, September 28 at Salvatore’s Italian Gardens in Buffalo at its Centennial Celebration Gala! Tickets are $55.
Distinguished Judge Robert Russell, creator of Buffalo Veterans Court, will be the keynote speaker.
Honorees included Honorable Majority leader Crystal D. Peoples-Stokes, Lakisha X. Prim, Veterans One Stop Center of WNY, and Fern Beavers posthumously. Rev. Mark Blue, NAACP president was the Master of Ceremony. Council President Darius Pridgen gave the invocation.
The POW_MIA ceremony was by American Legion 8th District Commander Bill Miskell and the McKinley High School Junior ROTC Color Guard posted the colors and Dancing to jazz followed dinner.
United States, Army Corporal Jesse Clipper, the post’s namesake is a significant part of Buffalo New York’s history. Before being drafted into the army Jesse Clipper was an Entertainer and performer in an African-American Vaudeville group and Vice president of a “colored” musicians Local 533 in 1917. Corporal Clipper served in the 317th engineers Corps during World War 1 on the front lines in France and was the first African American Soldier from Buffalo to die in the war. The Jesse Clipper post has a proud history of service to the Buffalo community.
The Jesse Clipper American Legion Post 430 was founded on September 16th 1919 by 15 African American World War I veterans. After its inception, the Post petitioned the Buffalo Common Council to establish a monument in honor of Jesse Clipper and all other African American soldiers from the War of revolution, through World War I, so their sacrifice would never be forgotten.
Today the monument is located at the Jesse Clipper Square at Michigan and William Street and has since been expanded to include the dates of all wars, in which African Americans has made the ultimate sacrifice for their county. The Jesse clipper Square was expanded and rededicated in May 2018.
The Jesse Clipper Post#430 was noted for outstanding community events: Parades, basketball teams, bowling championships, drum corps, their newspaper called “The CLIPPER. Beginning with the first Commander Mosby B. McAden in 1927, Commander Ralph S. Freeman in 1935, William Hutchinson in 1947, during the 50”s and 60”s Lennard McCullough, Dewitt Lee Sr. and Raymond Gant served, George Pruitt 2000-2009; Debbera Ranson 2010, Janet Smith 2012 -2013, Eugene Pierce 2014 and 2015; Henry Curtis 2016 – 2017; Paulette Woods 2018 – 2019.
Today, the Jesse Clipper Posts works to live up to the American Legion motto of “Still Serving America,” by serving the Buffalo community. Members of the post can be found volunteering at the Buffalo Veteran Administration Hospital, Buffalo Niagara Freedom Lounge, Boy Scouts, Bryant Stratton College, feeding homeless veterans and rendering final salutes to fallen service members and more.